Who is the Syrian pilot killed in the jet downed by Israel?

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A photo of the Syrian pilot- who died in the Israeli shooting of his fighter jet that crossed into the occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday- surfaced online.

The killed pilot is Colonel Omran Merei from the coastal city of Safita in the Tartous governorate, northwest of Syria, which is considered a human resources depot for Bashar al-Assad regime’s fighters.

The pilot was known among the Syrian opposition since 2013, as he was among a list of Assad military pilots who launched an air assault on the city of al-Qusayr in the Homs governorate, using al Shayrat airbase.

Al-Qusayr was a stronghold for the Syrian opposition.

In 2013, Syrian activists opposing Bashar al-Assad, published a list of 21 pilots in the Syrian army, among them Merei, who bombarded al-Qusayr, then later on in 2017 they bombarded the town of Khan Sheikhun in Idlib using chemical weapons.

While the Syrian Government said on Tuesday that the jet was downed by the Israelis as it took part in raids against armed militants within Syria, Damascus remained silent about the fate of the second pilot who was on the jet.

Sources said that the search for him has not produced any result so far.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Syrian jet had been in “gross violation of the separation of forces between us an Syria.” Read more

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