DHAKA: The pilot of a Syrian MiG 21 fighter jet who flew his plane to Jordan has asked for political asylum on landing, Jordanian Minister of State for Information Samih al-Maaytah said.
‘He requested political asylum in Jordan. He is being debriefed at the moment’, Maaytah said on Thursday, reports Al Jazeera.
Syrian state television named the pilot as Colonel Hassan Mari Hamada, saying communications were lost with his plane while he was on a training mission near the border with Jordan.
‘The plane landed at King Hussein Airbase at 11:00am (0800 GMT)’, a Jordanian security source said, referring to a military airport 80km northest of the capital Amman.
Syrian activists said it was the first defection involving an aircraft since the start of a 15-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
BDST: 1723 HRS, JUN 21, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor