1000s of Syria soldiers defect

2012-09-24 16:20

Amman - More than 2 000 Syrian soldiers have defected to Jordan since the conflict erupted during 2011 in the neighbouring country, the commander of Jordan's border guards said in remarks published on Monday.

"The number of refugees who have entered Jordan through unofficial border crossings until Wednesday has reached more than 74 000 Syrians... 2 053 of them soldiers from various ranks," Brigadier General Hussein al-Ziyud told the semi-official Al-Dustour newspaper.

Ziyud said the soldiers have been "taken to special places under special protection", adding that "many of them were shot at as they tried to enter Jordan and some of the gunfire hit Jordanian territory".

"This has pushed the Jordanian armed forces to take preventive measures to deal with developments taking place in Syria," he said without giving further details.

Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said earlier this month that over 200 000 Syrian refugees have crossed the borders into Jordan since the uprising against the rule of President Bashar Assad erupted 18 months ago.

UN figures show that 85 197 refugees are registered in Jordan, with a further 35 961 awaiting processing.

Syria and Jordan share 370km long borders which hundreds of Syrian cross on foot everyday to escape the violence which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says has killed at least 29 000 people. The UN puts the death toll at 20 000.

Syria's former prime minister, Riad Hijab, is the highest profile government figure to defect and crossed into Jordan in early August. A Syrian pilot also landed his MiG fighter jet in the kingdom earlier this year.

Members of the Syrian armed forces, including many generals, have also defected to Turkey, another Syria neighbour, where soldiers are kept in special camps.

  • Fidel - 2012-09-24 17:29

    2000 only, out of an army totalling 500000, made up of mostly Sunni foot soldiers, who have remained faithful to their government and country! This must be the mass defection that we've been hearing of for the past year.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-24 17:41

      Like a true member of the violent, loony left, you distort the truth. The fact is that 'these' 2000 soldiers defected from assad'd terrorist army, are the ones who went over the border into Jordan !!! At the very least SIXTY THOUSAND other soldiers, ALSO defected from this monster's army and formed the FSA!! TRY AGAIN !!!

      Fidel - 2012-09-24 17:49

      Isn't it nice that posters can thumb suck numbers on a news thread whithout so much any reliance on truth or facts. I really love these threads!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-24 18:09

      The problem with these silly childish radicals is, that they only accept as 'truth' 'facts' that suits them!!! I really love these threats !!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-24 18:51

      Isn't it nice that Fidel believes Nelson Mandela is a phony, a lackey of the West, a modern-day Uncle Tom? Not. His exact words in the US/Mandela thread a few weeks ago. With that obviously faulty mindset, can anything coming out of it be true?

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