ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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Four senior army officers defect from Assad regime

Two brigadier generals and two colonels join opposition, appear in video posted by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

A Syrian revolutionary flag waves on top of a building on the outskirts of Aleppo. (photo credit: Khalil Hamra/AP)
A Syrian revolutionary flag waves on top of a building on the outskirts of Aleppo. (photo credit: Khalil Hamra/AP)

BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian activist group says four senior army officers have defected and joined the opposition.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights provided a video Friday purporting to show two brigadier generals and two colonels. They declared they were defecting.

The group said the defections came Thursday — the same day a Syria fighter pilot flew his MiG-21 warplane to neighboring Jordan, where he was given asylum.

Thousands of soldiers have abandoned the regime, but most are low-level conscripts. The Free Syria Army, the loosely linked group of rebel forces, is made up partly of Syrian army defectors.

Also Friday, Syria’s state-run news agency said “terrorist groups” killed and mutilated several people in the northern Aleppo province.

The Syrian government refers to rebels as terrorists.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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