Around 1,300 military and security personnel have been killed in Syrian protests, a Syrian army general told Sky News on Sunday.

Army Major General Riad Haddad said in the interview that his forces had been issued with orders not to shoot on sight and so, in his words, they had become "sitting ducks" faced with armed gangs.

The number given by Haddad is nearly similar to the total number of protester deaths reported by opposition activists and local human rights groups.

According to Sky News, this is the first time the Syrian military has made any public statements since protests began three months ago and the first time they have announced any casualty numbers.

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