300 Syrian Army defectors in Hatay: SNC
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily NewsThe number of the Syrian Army defectors staying in the Hatay sheltering camp in Turkey has reached 300, Syrian National Council’s (SNC) Turkey representative Khaled Khoja told to the Hürriyet Daily News on Feb. 8.
Khoja said amongst the Syrian defector soldiers staying in the camp, there are one general, four colonels and two lieutenant colonels. Leader of the dissident Free Syrian Army (FSA) Colonel Riad al Asaad and leader of the newly founded “The Higher Revolutionary Council” General Mustafa al-Sheikh are also staying in the Turkish camps in Hatay.
No information could be obtained from the Turkish Foreign Ministry regarding the exact numbers of the Syrian defector soldiers staying in Turkey. According to independent human rights organizations figures, out of 19,727 people fleeing Syria, 10,227 of them are staying in Turkey. There are 5,500 Syrian people seeking asylum in Lebanon and 4,000 in Jordan, human rights organizations report.
Turkish diplomats who spoke to the Daily News during the 48th International Security Conference in Munich said 40,000 members have defected from the Syrian military, Hürriyet Daily News reported on Feb. 4.