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Jordan air force pilot joins Syrian rebels

Monday - 7/1/2013, 8:58am  ET

JAMAL HALABY
Associated Press

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- Relatives of a Jordanian air force pilot say he has joined al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, or Nusra Front, which is fighting in Syria to oust President Bashar Assad.

More than 300 Jordanians, some linked to domestic militant groups, have joined Syrian rebels fighting to overthrow Assad. But it is the first time a Jordanian with military rank defects to the rebels.

The two relatives said Monday that Ahmad Majali, 29, abandoned his post in central Jordan last Wednesday and took a commercial flight to Turkey Friday.

From there, he entered Syria overland and joined the Nusra Front, they added.

The Royal Jordanian Air Force declined comment, but confirmed that Majali is a pilot with the rank of captain.

The two relatives insisted on anonymity for fear of Jordanian police retribution.


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