Kamikaze pilots an option, says Syrian army officer
The Syrian air force is considering using kamikaze pilots against attacks by Western forces, a Syrian army officer operating air defences near Damascus has claimed.
The officer said in an interview that 13 pilots had signed a pledge this week saying they would form "a crew of suicide martyrs to foil the US warplanes".
The Assad loyalist, in his 30s and serving with the Syrian army's air defence section 16 kilometres from the capital, said: "If the US and British armies launch a single rocket we will launch three or four, and if their warplanes raid our skies they will face hell fire. If we are unable to shoot down their warplanes with artillery, we have military pilots who are ready to attack these foreign warplanes by their own warplanes and blow them up in the air."
It has not been possible to independently verify the information. The officer has previously provided reliable information about battles between the troops of President Bashar al-Assad and rebel groups.
The officer claimed: "We have more than 8,000 suicide martyrs within the Syrian army, ready to carry out martyrdom operations at any moment to stop the Americans and the British. I myself am ready to blow myself up against US aircraft carriers to stop them."
He said the morale of the Syrian army was high. "They have to know that Iran and Hezbollah fighters will be fighting with us, hand-in-hand. We have an alliance of protection. We are the resistance axe in the Arab world.
"We are ready for anything. Only God can take our souls, not America or Britain."