Wednesday, June 28

Israeli jets buzz Syrian presidential palace (Update - 2)

Israeli Air Force jets overflew Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's palace near Latakiya while he was in the building, Channel TV 10 News reported at the start of the Wednesday evening 20:00 news.

Israeli censors released the news only this evening of the quartet of F-16i "Sufa" (Storm) jets that buzzed the northern Syrian palace yesterday. Hamas "external" politburo chief Khaled Maashal directs terror operatio
ns from Damascus, and is believed to have been behind the attack on the IDF post and the abduction of IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Maashal is reportedly leaving the Syrian capital for Egypt, according to a 20:45 update, likely fearing an Israeli assault or abduction, or at Assad's behest. He is due to hold talks with Egyptialn officials.

"Earlier, Justice Minister Haim Ramon said that Mashaal, was a target for assassination due to his ordering of the kidnapping of Shalit.

"He is definitely in our sights... he is a target," Ramon told Army Radio. "Khaled Mashaal, as some who is overseeing, actually commanding the terror acts, is definitely a target."
The last time Israel warned Syria in this manner about sponsoring terrorism was four years ago, in the wake of a suicide bombing masterminded by Islamic Jihad, based in Damascus.

It is unclear if the Syrian military attempted to fire recently purchased Russian-made SA-18 ground-to air missiles at the aircraft as passed - reportedly at transonc speeds -causing sonic booms.

The Israeli army is on high alert along the northern border, for any possible Hizbullah response to the flyover.

Syrian television did not report the event, although al-Jazeerra did run a scroller shortly after the Israeli announcement, according to reporter Shai Yeheskeli.

An official Syrian response close to 20:30 denied that the flyover took place, and said the Syrians would "continue their current policies."

Former IDF southern command chief Doron Almog said, in an on-air discussion with the anchorman that he believed the theater of conflict was widening.

(I believe that I heard those jets flying overheard early yesterday morning, but assumed they were a warning to the Palestinians. There were several roars as they flew over, very loud and low, and NO jets fly over Jerusalem list that at that hour; civilian flights are far higher).

This map links to a page with specs on the F-16i's range and armaments.

More on this at The Jerusalem Post.


Leah said...

I also heard those jets yesterday morning (I live in Jlm). And I thought - I bet that's something important. Wonder if I'll ever find out what it was?

shlemazl said...

My first time on this site... Great summary of the events. I'll be back

Dave said...

Thank you for your kind words. DB


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