ISTANBUL, Turkey - Two Syrian brigadier-generals fled to Turkey overnight, part of a group of about 10 people that included colonels and other military officers, a Turkish official told Reuters on Saturday.
The latest defections would bring the number of Syrian generals taking refuge in Turkey to 24.
A 16-month uprising in Syria has unleashed a refugee crisis in Turkey and its other neighbors. More than 43,000 Syrian refugees are registered as living in Turkey.
Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday that he is sending an envoy to Syria to assess the situation as Syrian government forces and rebels battle for control of the country.
"I am sending my Undersecretary General for Peacekeeping Operations (Hervé Ladsous) to Syria to assess the situation as well as the top U.N. military advisor to lead UNSMIS (mission) in this critical phase," Ban said after meeting top Croatian officials in the Adriatic resort of Brijuni.
Ban's remarks came a day after the U.N. Security Council approved a 30-day extension for an unarmed observer mission, the only international military mission on the ground, and after Russia and China vetoed a resolution to impose further sanctions on the government of Syrian president Bashar Assad.
More world stories from NBC News:
- Explosion, fire shuts down Turkey-Iraq oil pipeline; PKK blamed
- Assad reportedly directs troops from tribal heartland as rebels flood capital
- UN extends Syria observer mission as fighting continues
- A first: Cheers not jeers at new Apple product debut in China
- Report: Ex-Gitmo detainee suspected as Bulgaria suicide bomber
- Experts say 'non' to Champagne as UK wines sparkle
- Mandela’s ‘Rainbow Nation’ determined to succeed
- Bombing kills Syrian ministers at heart of Assad rule