Syrian republican guards General Manaf Tlas, member of President Bashar al-Assad's inner circle - defects to Turkey - according to pro-Assad Syrian news website reports via Reuters
A Syrian general from an artillery division and seven officers were among dozens of soldiers, mostly serving in Homs province, who defected and fled to Turkey, a Syrian activist and Free Syrian Army sources told Reuters.
Turkish state broadcaster TRT Haber said on its website that 85 Syrian soldiers, including the general, were among those who were sent to the Apaydin camp in Turkey's Hatay province.
Turkish State TV: 85 Syrian soldiers, including one General, have defected and fled to Turkey.
The Syrian government and the rebels are receiving more and more weapons, which is fueling violence in a 16-month conflict that the United Nations says has killed more than 10,000 people, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said.
"The ongoing provision of arms to the Syrian government and to its opponents feeds additional violence," Pillay said in the written text of remarks she made to the UN Security Council, obtained by Reuters. "Any further militarization of the conflict must be avoided at all costs."
She did not say where the weapons were coming from, though Russia and Iran are among the Syrian government's key suppliers. UN diplomats say Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been transferring arms to Syria's increasingly militarized opposition.
Turkey's armed forces command confirmed on Monday that it had scrambled a total of six F-16 fighter jets in three separate incidents responding to Syrian military helicopters approaching the border on Sunday, but there was no violation of Turkish airspace.
It said in a statement the jets had been scrambled from Incirlik air base in southern Turkey in response to Syrian helicopters flying south of the Turkish province of Hatay, within 2-2.5 miles of the Turkish border.
Activist estimate of Syria death toll so far;
It seems a strange distinction - are soldiers not Syrians?
The activist toll for Syrian army dead ia almost certainly an under-estimate. The Department Foreign Ministry Mekdad told me in May that nearly 6,000 troops and security forces had been killed.
Plumes of smoke are visible at the western edge of Damascus. Locals report three large explosions near Irbeen. The Red Cross say that 26 civilians have been evacuated from Douma.
The loud explosion on Sunday night in Damascus was a car bomb at a military checkpoint which injured three soldiers, according to a pro-government media organisation. There is no confirmation of this.
Turkey's armed forces command said it had scrambled a total of six F-16 fighter jets in three separate incidents responding to Syrian military helicopters approaching the border on Saturday, but there was no violation of Turkish airspace.
It said in a statement four of the jets had scrambled from Incirlik air base in southern Turkey in response to Syrian helicopters flying south of the Turkish province of Hatay.
Two other F-16s took off from a base in Batman after Syrian helicopters were spotted close to the border south of the Turkish province of Mardin.