Syrian defectors to form first air team after airport victory

Syrian air force defectors have agreed to return to the country to form the resistance’s first “air squadron” in a bid to operate a fleet of fighter jets reportedly seized by the Free Syrian Army.

Syrian defectors to form first air team after airport victory

World Bulletin / News Desk

Fresh off the capture of a strategic military airport, Syrian rebels say they are set to form their first air squadron in a bid to add air power to the armed resistance’s arsenal, reported the Jordan Times. 

According to rebel sources, Syrian air force defectors have agreed to return to the country to form the resistance’s first “air squadron” in a bid to operate a fleet of fighter jets reportedly seized by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Tuesday.

Some 35 former air force officers, pilots and technicians currently residing in Jordan and Turkey are set to form the squadron, defectors say, which is to operate under the umbrella of the FSA and the Higher Syrian Military Council.

“We have been waiting for months to return to Syria and serve the revolution,” said Abu Khaled Al Dimashqi, a 45-year-old former Syrian air force major general currently residing in Jordan.

Syrian air force defectors said the decision came hours after the FSA’s capture of Al Jarah military airport on the outskirts of Aleppo on Tuesday, seizing in the process some three-dozen aircraft and fighter jet.

However, Syrian air force defectors have raised doubts over the operational condition of the recently seized fleet — which reportedly consists of MiG-17 and L-39 fighter jets — and have reportedly dispatched a team of technicians to Aleppo to run “maintenance and tests” on the aircraft.

Last Mod: 14 Şubat 2013, 14:40
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