Syrian pilots said to be flying Libyan fighter jets
WASHINGTON — Opposition sources said Syrian Air Force officers were flying some of
the MiG-23 and MiG-25 fighter-jets ordered to attack rebel-held towns in
Libya. They said at least one Syrian Air Force officer was killed and
identified after his plane was downed.
Syria has sent weapons and other military equipment to
the Libyan regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, the opposition sources said.
Syrian opposition sources said the regime of President Bashar Assad has
approved the deployment of hundreds of fighters to Libya as well as air and
anti-tank munitions to Gadhafi, Middle East Newsline reported. They said Syrians have also served as
pilots for Gadhafi's fleet of MiG fighter-jets.
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Other opposition sources said Syria was relaying weapons to Al
Qaida-aligned elements in Libya. They said Iran and Syria were believed to
be cooperating in seeking to extend their influence over Libya's giant
"Assad of Syria is sending arms to Gadhafi of Libya to kill his people
with," the Reform Party of Syria said.
The Assad regime has denied the reports of both the Syrian and Libyan
opposition. But Western diplomats said the reports of Syrian intervention
were being taken seriously.
In a statement on March 6, RPS, based in Washington, did not elaborate
on Syria's involvement in Libya. RPS said Assad was believed to have decided
to help quell the Libyan uprising to prevent a similar threat to his regime.
"Assad is reasoning Gadhafi must win to discourage the Syrians from any
reckless behavior such as seeking freedom, democracy, and accountability,"