Dave at Israel At Level Ground is quoting a Channel 10 (cable) news report that four Israeli F-16 jets overflew Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's palace near Latakiya while he was in the building.
Syrian television did not report the event, although al-Jazeerra did run a scroller shortly after the Israeli announcement, according to reporter Shai Yeheskeli.
The JPost has more details of this morning's flyover of Syrian leader Bashar Assad's Presidential palace that I reported on earlier.
The Post reports that the IDF said that the flyover was carried out by four planes flying in a low-altitude pattern, and was a part of an operation aimed at pressuring the Syrian leadership to expel Hamas Politburo chief Khaled Mashaal from Damascus. I don't understand why the IDF cannot go get Meshaal in Damascus, as I suggested yesterday.
According to Israel, Meshaal orchestrated the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, and has been calling the shots for the kidnappers.
State-run Syrian television said two Israeli planes flew near Syria's Mediterranean coast early Wednesday but did not mention Israel's announcement that the planes swooped low over the summer residence of Assad.
Debka has this:
In new crisis, Syria says its air defenses opened fire on intruding Israeli air force jets. Unofficial Israel sources confirm that 4 Israeli F16 fighters buzzed the Syrian presidential summer palace in Latakia early Wednesday, June 28, as pressure on Bashar Assad to bring about Hamas’ release of kidnapped Israeli corporal Gilead Shalit. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal whom Syria harbors is accused of orchestrating Hamas attacks and hostage-taking. Syria accuses Israel of “a hostile and provocative act” and says its air defenses opened fire and forced the Israeli warplanes to flee. The Syrian president was at home at the time of the incident. DEBKAfile reports: One Israeli official after another struck out against Meshaal and the Syrian president during the day after the Olmert government and his security and intelligence chiefs concluded that the missing soldier’s recovery alive depends on military pressure being applied to the Syrian ruler and through him on Meshaal. It is no secret that Assad gives Hamas and its political leadership headed by Meshaal free rein to run the Hamas military arm in Gaza from Damascus. Our intelligence sources disclose that, straight after the Israeli buzzing early Wednesday, Assad returned to Damascus and soon after, met Jordanian prime minister Maaruf Bahait (former ambassador to Israel), who had come over to discuss the Palestinian reconciliation document and the crisis in Gaza. According to our sources, Assad kept on complaining agitatedly about the Israeli over flights.
Here's Yuval Yoaz in Ha'Aretz: 'Israel Air Force warplanes predawn Wednesday carried out a low-altitude flight over the palace of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Mediterranean port city of Latakia in northwestern Syria. Channel 2 TV reported that the aircrafts caused sonic booms when passing over the palace. Assad is believed to have been staying in the palace at the time of the flyover.'
Via IRIS: There are no Israelis in the airport!
Via Ocean Guy, liveblogging from Vital Perspective and Israellycool. Latest from Vital Perspective:
UPDATE 06/28 @ 13:18: BREAKING NEWS... Four Israel Air Force F-16 aircrafts carried out an aerial flight over Syrian President Bashar Assad's palace, near the city of Latakia on Tuesday. Israel views the Syrian leadership as the main sponsor of terror groups headed by Hamas. Air Force planes flew around the palace while Assad was in it. The IDF took a similar step in the past, about three years ago, after a terror attack in a Haifa restaurant. This is considered a symbolic but significant move, mainly in light of recent declarations voiced by senior Israeli officials on Khaled Meshaal's link to what is taking place in Israel.
UPDATE 06/28 @ 14:20: Channel Two in Israel is reporting that Fatah terrorists have pledged to attack Israeli embassies overseas if there are civilian casualties in Gaza.
UPDATE 06/28 @ 15:12: Kofi Annan spoke with PM Olmert a short while ago, and told him that he spoke with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and urged them to assist with the release of the kidnapped soldier. Annan said that he was concerned about the situation in the Palestinian Authority and asked that Israel show restraint. Olmert told Annan that the government was doing nothing to help with the hostage's release or to put a stop to the Qassam fire. Bear in mind that not too long ago, Annan wasn't even aware that there were rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza.
Latest from Israellycool:
9.45AM: The Jerusalem Post are running with the alarming headline:
Report: Israeli body found in Ramallah
But when you click on the link, there is no news of Eliyahu having been killed.
9.40AM: The PRC are threatening to kill the other kidnapped Israeli teenager, Eliyahu Asheri, unless the IDF leaves Gaza. Since this is not likely, unless Gilad Shalit is released, I am extremely worried about Eliyahu's chances of survival.