3 Jul 2012

Syrian defections reported by Turkey

1:16 pm on 3 July 2012

State television in Turkey has reported 85 Syrian soldiers, including an army general from an artillery division and seven officers, have defected and fled to Turkey.

State broadcaster TRT Haber said on its website they have been sent to the Apaydin camp in Hatay province.

The Anatolia news agency in Ankara reports the soldiers were accompanied by nearly 300 relatives.

Anatolia also reported that 14 Syrian generals have crossed the border into Turkey since the revolt against President Bashar Assad began.

Colonel Abdul-Hamid Zakaria, a military doctor, defected from the Syrian army a few weeks ago and has now joined the Free Syrian Army in Istanbul.

He told CNN that citizens in Syrian hospitals are treated only when the regime wants more information from them.

Otherwise, he said, they are killed by high doses of insulin causing coma and then death.