AMMAN - The Syrian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that a military pilot who defected to Jordan on Thursday with his MiG-21 fighter jet was a "traitor" and that it was in contact with Jordanian authorities to retrieve the aircraft.

"The pilot is considered a deserter from service and a traitor to his country and his military honor. Contacts are underway with the Jordanian side to make arrangements to return the plane," a statement by the ministry said.

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