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MichaelW

Syrian Fighter Pilot Defects to Jordan

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http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/middle-east/7151123/Syrian-fighter-pilot-defector-jets-to-Jordan

A Syrian fighter pilot on a training mission has flown his MiG-21 warplane to Jordan and asked for political asylum, the first defection of an air force pilot with his plane during the 15-month uprising against President Bashar Assad.

The air force is considered fiercely loyal to Assad's regime, and the defection suggests some of Syria's most ironclad allegiances are fraying.

It was a triumph for the rebels fighting to overthrow Assad. A spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army, Ahmad Kassem, said the group had encouraged the pilot to defect and monitored his activity until the jet landed safely in Jordan.

The pilot, identified as Colonel Hassan Hammadeh, removed his air force tag and kneeled on the tarmac in prayer after landing his plane at King Hussein Air Base in Mafraq, Jordan, 70km north of Amman, a Jordanian security official said.

He said Jordanian official were questioning the defector, but he will be allowed to stay in the country on "humanitarian grounds."

"He was given asylum because if he returned home, his safety will not be guaranteed. He may tortured or killed," the official said. He declined to say what Jordan will do with the jet. The official insisted on anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the matter.

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High ranking too. Wonder what caused him to jump ship.Hope he was able to get his family out before he defected.

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Colonel Hassan Hammadeh --> Hero

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the poor man has family of five childrens and a wife

hopefully the people will lead them to safty

otherwise we'd see them on the local media giving confessions how their father was getting paid by the west

using death threats and torture to get such confessions

or they can just kill them .. eaither way i hope the first is true and they were led to safty by the people

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the poor man has family of five childrens and a wife

hopefully the people will lead them to safty

otherwise we'd see them on the local media giving confessions how their father was getting paid by the west

using death threats and torture to get such confessions

or they can just kill them .. eaither way i hope the first is true and they were led to safty by the people

I was worried about you. It's good to see you back! I hope you're right and nobody is being tortured over this. :(

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