As many as 73 Syrian military officers – including seven generals and 20 colonels – have crossed the border with their families “seeking refuge” in Turkey, the country’s state-run news agency reported Friday.
The Anadolu Agency said the group – totaling 202 people – arrived in the border town of Reyhanli and were taken to a Turkish refugee camp that houses military officers who have defected from the Syrian army.
The report did not say when they had arrived and Turkish Foreign Ministry officials and the local administrator in Reyhanli could not immediately confirm the report.
Also on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that more U.S. military support for forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad could stoke violence in the Middle East.
During a telephone conversation, Lavrov “stressed that such a step (military support) risks escalating (violence) in the region, while accusations against Damascus of the use of chemical weapons by the United States are not backed up by verified facts,” the foreign ministry statement said.