BEIRUT — A Syrian general was among the latest defectors from the Syrian military, officials said Monday, after dozens of Syrian soldiers fled overnight to Turkey, crossing the border with their families.

The general defected in recent days, Turkish officials said. Then, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency, 33 soldiers crossed the border overnight, including a second general and two colonels.

But a Turkish government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, said the group included three colonels, and there was no general.

The two conflicting accounts could not immediately be reconciled.

Thousands of soldiers have abandoned the Syrian regime, but most are low-level conscripts. The rebel Free Syrian Army — which is based in Turkey — is made up largely of defectors.

Anadolu said a total of 224 people crossed into Turkey overnight, the latest blow to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The officer who defected separately in the last few days was a brigadier general, Turkish officials said. In January, a brigadier general appeared in Turkey, the highest ranking officer to defect up to that point.

Activists say more than 14,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March 2011, and the death toll mounts every day.

There are widespread fears that the conflict could spark regional unrest — and those fears mounted Friday when Syrian forces shot a Turkish military plane out of the sky.

Syria insists that the Turkish plane violated its air space.But Turkey disagrees, saying that although the plane had unintentionally strayed into Syria’s air space, it was inside international air space when it was brought down.