CNN TÜRK, HÜRRIYET, (Turkey) LA STAMPA (Italy), WSJ (United States)

A Syrian general, two colonels, two majors, one lieutenant and 33 soldiers have defected from President Bashar al-Assad's forces and arrived in Turkey, Hürriyet, the Istanbul-based daily, reports.

The officers and soldiers were part of a group of some 224 people who crossed the border overnight, according to CNN Türk, yet another sign that senior officials are turning away from al-Assad's government.

(More than 33,000 people have fled into Turkey since Syria's violence began.)

The defections come just two days after Syria shot down a Turkish military jet in a maritime border area, an act Western powers have widely condemned. "The Assad regime should not make the mistake of believing that it can act with impunity. It will be held to account for its behavior," UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement carried in The Independent.

But asked about the possibility of a Western-led military intervention in Syria, Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said he did not believe "the conditions are in place for an action like in Libya", adding that he "would like to be clear right away that it is not a repeatable scenario," La Stampa reports.

On Monday, European Union foreign ministers agreed to a new round of sanctions on Syria, including extending a travel ban and a freeze on assets of six companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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