Syrian pilot rejects orders to bomb Aleppo, flees to Turkey: opposition source
A Syrian helicopter pilot who rejected orders to bomb an area of Aleppo, targeted a Syrian military security building instead before fleeing to Turkey after he run out of ammunition, a source in the Istanbul-based Syrian National Council (SNC) told Al Arabiya.
Several army defectors, including senior officers, have escaped to Turkey since the uprising in Syria. Head of the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA), Colonel Riad al-Asaad, is currently residing in Turkey.
A SNC source told Al Arabiya that the defected pilot has reached Turkey, adding that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has lost confidence in the air force fears that pilots sent on a mission could instead bomb the presidential palace or government facilities.
The pilot had been ordered to bomb the Aleppo area of Aazaz, strategically positioned on the road to neighboring Turkey and which is a supply route for Free Syrian Army fighters.
A Syrian official, however, denied the report that the pilot has defected and fled to Turkey. The official was quoted by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
Turkey has not commented on report, which if confirmed by Ankara would be the first of its kind in Syria since the start of the uprising a year ago.