Thursday, June 29, 2006

Israel airforce flight over Assad's palace

From Ynet News, by Hanan Greenberg 28/6/06 ...

...Message to Assad: While ground forces launched an operation in Gaza early Wednesday, four Israel Air Force F-16 aircrafts carried out an aerial flight over Syrian President Bashar Assad's palace, near the city of Latakia....Israel views the Syrian leadership as the main sponsor of terror groups headed by Hamas.

Following the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit on Sunday, Israel pointed a finger at Hamas leaders in Damascus, who are being sponsored by Syria under Assad's regime. Israeli officials raised the name of Hamas' politburo chief Khaled Mashaal as the person who ordered the Kerem Shalom attack.

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 Mashaal's link to what is taking place in Israel.

Simultaneously, the IDF raised its alert level on the northern border, mainly for fear that Hizbullah or other groups will attempt to take advantage of the situation and cause an escalation.

.....Moussa Abu Marzouk, the deputy of Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal .... said Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose country hosts him and Mashaal, is not involved in the prisoner issue. But in the Palestinian territories, an aide to President Mahmoud Abbas said both Abbas and Egyptian officials had called Assad to ask him to persuade Mashaal to free the soldier.

Abu Marzouk said he knew nothing of reports that a Hamas delegation, possibly led by Mashaal, would be going to Cairo soon.

No comments: