A Syrian brigadier-general and several other defected military officers were among 1,280 Syrians to have fled from Syria to Turkey overnight, a Turkish official said on Tuesday.
The official said the latest defections brought the number of Syrian generals sheltering in Turkey to 18, including a retired general. An undisclosed number of officers also defected with their families, totaling 68 people including family members, according to Reuters.
A total of 1,280 refugees crossed over into Turkey’s southern Hatay province overnight, bringing the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey to 42,680, the official said.
The United Nations said the number of Syrian refugees who have sought help from it since April has almost tripled to 112,000, according to The Associated Press.
The U.N. refugee agency said women and children make up three-quarters of the Syrians who it has registered or assisted in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
Agency spokesman Adrian Edwards said Tuesday in Geneva that the actual number is probably “significantly higher” and that many Syrian refugees are completely dependent on humanitarian aid.
Edwards said that Jordan has seen 33,400 Syrian refugees, while 30,900 have arrived in Lebanon. Another 7,900 have sought sanctuary in Iraq.