Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Royal decree on low-cut tops

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin?

Read more

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Textile workers' lives still at risk?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

WEB NEWS

NYPD's online campaign backfires

Read more

ENCORE!

Celebrating the Bard's birthday in Britain

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Executions halted over drugs secrecy

Read more

  • US warns Russia against making ‘expensive mistake’ in Ukraine

    Read more

  • Israel halts Middle East peace talks over Hamas deal

    Read more

  • French policemen accused of raping Canadian woman

    Read more

  • Internet should stay free of government intervention, conference says

    Read more

  • A radio station defends peace and tolerance in CAR

    Read more

  • Echoes of 2pac and Biggie? French rap feud turns violent

    Read more

  • Ferry disaster, nuclear test fears cloud Obama’s South Korea trip

    Read more

  • Fresh clashes in Rio over dancer's death

    Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • Platini: PSG in danger over Financial Fair Play rules

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Ségolène Royal denies banning cleavage at French ministry

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

Middle east

Syrian army chiefs join wave of defections to Turkey

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-25

Turkish state media reported Monday that 33 soldiers including at least three high-ranking officers fled from Syrian forces and arrived in Turkey overnight with their families. Their defection comes as tensions rise between the two countries.

AP - Dozens of members of Syria’s military defected to Turkey overnight with their families, a Turkish official said Monday, at a time of heightened tensions between the two countries over Syria’s downing of a Turkish military plane.

The state-run Anadolu news agency said 33 soldiers crossed into Turkey overnight and the group – 224 people in all – included a general and two colonels.

A government official, however, said the group included three colonels and there was no general among them. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, did not know the overall number of defectors and the two accounts could not immediately be reconciled.

The defections come three days after Syria shot down a Turkish aircraft it said had violated its air space, further fraying relations between the two countries that were once allies.

NATO-member Turkey said the plane had unintentionally strayed into Syria’s air space, but was inside international airspace when it was brought down. It has insisted the jet was on a training flight to test Turkey’s radar capabilities and was not spying on Syria.

Turkey has summoned a NATO meeting Tuesday to discuss the incident, revoking article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty which allows an ally to request consultations whenever it feels its security is threatened.

Anadolu said the group of defectors was placed in a refugee camp in Hatay, a province bordering Syria but there was no further information. Turkey is hosting some 33,000 Syrians who have crossed into Turkey to find refuge from the 15-months old violence.

Thousands of soldiers have abandoned the Syrian regime, but most are low-level conscripts. The Free Syria Army – the loosely linked group of rebel forces – is made up largely of defectors.

Defectors affiliated with the Free Syrian Army and based in Turkey are known to collect food and other supplies to deliver to comrades on smuggling routes.

The government official said another group of some 60 army defectors had also crossed into Turkey recently.

 

Date created : 2012-06-25

  • TURKEY - SYRIA

    Syria tries to defuse tension after downing Turkish jet

    Read more

  • Syria

    Syrian air force pilot seeks asylum in Jordan

    Read more

  • TURKEY - SYRIA

    Turkey: Syrian cross-border shootings 'clear violation'

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)