Syrian President Can’t Trust Most of His Pilots, Former General Alleges
(DOHA, Qatar) -- President Bashar al-Assad is being hampered by apparent disloyalty, making it more difficult to launch air strikes against rebel targets, a former air force general is alleging.
Maj. Gen. Mohammed Fares, now part of the main opposition group, says that only a third of Syrian Air Force pilots are going out on missions to attack rebels.
Fares contends that al-Assad still has military muscle with a fleet of hundreds of planes. However, many of the war jets are old and in need of parts.
The former general speculated about the state of Syria's military during a summit of opposition groups in the Qatari capital of Doha.
Fares, Syria's first astronaut who trained in Russia, defected with his family to Turkey last August.
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