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Monday, June 25, 2012

Syrian army officers defecting in larger numbers

From Al Arabiya:
A Syrian general, two colonels, two majors, one lieutenant and 33 soldiers have defected from President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and arrived in Turkey, Turkish state television said on Monday, without giving any further details.

The private news channel CNN Turk also reported the defections of the soldiers, but said they had arrived with members of their families, making a total of 224 individuals.

On Sunday, three additional Syrian military pilots have defected to Jordan, according to Al Arabiya’s correspondent in Amman.

“The three pilots have entered Jordan in an illegal way and they are currently held by the Jordanian security authorities who are taking them through the regular routine procedures” said Al Arabiya’s Ghassan Abu Louz quoting sources within Syrian opposition.

One of the three pilots was a Lieutenant Colonel who managed to bring in his family to Jordan today as well, according to the correspondent. The other two pilots were both colonels and were believed to have also brought in their families from Syria, he said.

Four other Syrian military officials have entered Jordan since last Thursday following the defection of the colonel Hassan Marei Hamada who landed his Meg21 plane inside the Hashemite Kingdom.
Syria's SANA news agency is silent about these reports.