Thursday, June 21, 2012
Syrian Fighter Pilot Defects to Jordan During Training Mission
Over the past eighteen months we have seen numerous cases of defections from embattled governments to rebels all across the Arab world, but the most interesting to date might have just occurred just this morning.
Colonel Hassan Mirei al-Hamadeh, piloting a Russian MiG-21 fighter jet, defected to the Free Syrian Army in the middle of a training mission this morning and flew to neighboring Jordan to seek political asylum, which he was obviously granted. Syrian state media reported that his plane had gone missing during the exercise.
I remember several fighter pilots defecting from Qaddafi's air force in Libya to join the rebels there, but not one of them flew their plan into another country in the middle of a training exercise to seek asylum. That guy has stones... He could have been shot down in mid-air if even one of his fellow co-pilots knew what he was about to to.
This comes as more intense fighting has taken place on the ground in Syria, which has claimed another 18 lives at the least, and humanitarian aid workers were blocked from entering Homs, one of the worst areas targeted by the Assad regime, due to ongoing fighting, even though both sides agreed to a short cease fire.
At least the rebels now have one fighter jet to aid their cause...
What say you?