The Free Syrian Army has announced the formation of its first air force unit, Asharq Al-Awsat reported Feb. 19. The unit, commanded by Staff Brig. Gen. pilot Muhammad Yahya Bitar, comprises 10 aircraft and their pilots. Bitar said the pilots are all prepared to "to carry out any mission" the Free Syrian Army requests. The Syrian government's air force has been crucial to the regime's continued hold on power, but it has begun degrading.