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Jordan grants Syrian jet pilot asylum

Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 01:16

June 21 - Jordan's Information Minister says a Syrian air force pilot who flew his plane over the border to Jordan's King Hussein military air base was granted political asylum. Sarah Irwin reports.

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Jordan's Information Minister says political asylum is granted to the Syrian pilot who flew his fighter jet just over the Syrian border and into Jordan. On Thursday, a Syrian Air Force pilot asked for sanctuary after landing his MiG-21 airplane at King Hussein air base - north of Amman. Syria's Defence Ministry says the pilot - identified as Colonel Hassan Hamada - is a "traitor" and Syria wants the plane returned. This is the first defection involving a military aircraft - although thousands of soldiers have defected since the 15-month uprising against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad began. Elsewhere - amateur video - that cannot be independently verified by Reuters - purportedly showed continued shelling by Syrian forces in the city of Homs. An aid group said that the violence had been forced aid workers to turn back - despite an agreement allowing them to evacuate the sick and wounded. Syria has said rebel forces blocked evacuation efforts from the ancient Syrian city. Sarah Irwin, Reuters.

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Jordan grants Syrian jet pilot asylum

Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 01:16