Col. Hassan Hamada of the Syrian air force decided to fly out of Syria and land in a Jordanian airbase instead of going home on Thursday. The airman made his stylish escape yesterday without a hitch in his MiG-21, and is now an official rebel forces hero.
I guess the MiG is now legally his own personal fighter plane, although I'm sure the regime wants it back. It did call the Top Gun hero a "traitor to his country". It also said he "will be punished accordingly" but unfortunately for President Assad, he's got no plans to fly home any time soon and is seeking asylum in Jordan.
The defection is similar to those of the Libyan pilots last year who ended up in places like Greece and Malta. The biggest question now is why this guy didn't escape to somewhere a bit nicer. I'd have gone somewhere with more beaches, like Barbados or maybe Brazil? Judging by how old and rusty the Russian MiG looks, he probably didn't want to push his luck. [LA Times]
Image credit: MIG from Shutterstock