In new crisis, Syria says its air defenses opened fire on intruding Israeli air force jets. Israeli N. border forces on high alert for Hizballah attack
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.