Four brigadier generals from the Syria army have left the country and pledged their support to the rebel army fighting against president Bashar al-Assad. That makes six generals who have escaped to Turkey in defiance of the government, plus one other that has stayed behind to lead opposition fighters in battle. The names of the generals were not released because some of their families remain behind in Syria, making them targets for retribution. (Though it surely won't be hard for the government to figure out who they are.)
Turkey is also becoming a secondary hub of the resistance movement, which is both complicating their position in the region and creating a possible humanitarian crisis within its own borders. President Abdullah Gul has been critical of his Syrian counterpart, but has also rejected the idea of non-Arab governments stepping in to take down the regime. Turkey had also taken in more than 12,000 refugees who have escaped across Syrian's northern border and are now being housed in camps that grow larger every day. (Meanwhile, Syria's Kurds are heading for northern Iraq.) While Turkey needs the conflict to end, they can't be seen to endorse the idea that Western nations can invade a Mideast country whenever they see fit.
However, the diplomatic effort that Turkey is supporting is going nowhere. The latest attempt by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan is already being attacked by opposition leaders who called his appeal for a political settlement, free of any military force, a "pointless" gesture that does "not give a lot of hope for people in Syria being massacred every day. It feels like we are watching the same movie being repeated over and over again.''
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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