Defector pilot who planned to hit Assad's palace dies under torture in regime prison

Dec 07, 2020

A group of high-ranking military officers who defected from the Assad regime’s forces today announced the death under torture in a regime prison of one of its founding members, who had reportedly planned to launch an airstrike on the Republican Palace in Damascus to kill the dictator Bashar al-Assad.

The group announced in a statement today, Monday, that Colonel Hassan Abdul-Razzaq Hammoud (pictured), a senior pilot with Assad’s air force, was martyred under torture in the prison of the Assad forces.

He reportedly died in 2019, six years after his arrest.

The Orient Net news site quoted private sources as saying that Hammoud was planning to target the presidential palace in central Damascus with his plane in 2013 in coordination with rebel groups in the capital.

The sources added that Hammoud's plan was discovered by the regime’s intelligence service at that time and he was arrested before he got into his plane.

Colonel Hassan Hammoud came from the town of Termanin, north of Idlib, graduating as a member of the regime’s elite ‘14 pilots’ training course. He had risen through the ranks, but following the outbreak of the revolution in 2011, he refused orders to kill fellow citizens, with his ‘bias’ in favour of Syrian freedom marking him out for the regime which put him under surveillance, like thousands of other dissident officers and other members of the military.

Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, Assad's forces have used methods of field liquidation, pursuit, and lethal torture in its prisons to eliminate any supporters of the revolution. The regime follows this policy in particular towards the dissidents from its ranks, including elements and officers, after the cracking in its ranks.

The fate of hundreds of Syrian regime military personnel, including officers, incarcerated in Assad’s detention centers, especially in Sednaya and Palmyra prisons, remains unknown.

According to military sources, the number of officers who have defected from the Assad forces, including non-commissioned officers, is estimated at more than 4,500 officers of various ranks and specialties. Defection is a death penalty offence.

Via Hadi Abdullah, Orient News