Reports: Syrian Officers Defect

    A Syrian army soldier flashes victory sign shortly after he defected with his comrades, seen in the background, and joined the rebels at Khaldiyeh neighborhood, in Homs province, central Syria, Saturday May 12, 2012. Syria's uprising started in March 2011 with mostly peaceful protests inspired by successful revolts elsewhere calling for political reform. The Syrian government responded with a brutal crackdown, prompting many in the opposition to take up arms to defend themselves and attack government troops. (AP Photo/Fadi Zaidan)

    Fadi Zaidan / AP Photo

    Bashar al-Assad is becoming an increasingly lonely dictator. Reports from neighboring Turkey said more Syrian military officers defected across the border Monday, raising tensions in the two countries. Turkey is already at odds with its neighbor over Syria’s decision to shoot down a Turkish fighter jet Friday—a response that Syria claims was automatic after the plane entered Syrian airspace. As Turkey, a NATO member, has contemplated its options over the weekend, European leaders have urged caution. “We will obviously be looking to Turkey to be restrained in its response,” European Union foreign-policy head Catherine Ashton told reporters. A general, two colonels, and other Syrian military members crossed the border into Turkey on Monday.

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