Syrian air force pilot Colonel Hassan Hamada flew his fighter plane over the border to Jordan, where he was granted political asylum Thursday. This was the first defection with a military aircraft since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad more than a year ago. Syria's interior ministry called Hamada a "traitor to his country and his military honor," and contacted Jordanian authorities about retrieving the aircraft. Syrian officials said that Hamada would be punished under military law for his actions.
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