Bashar Assad received two special visitors today at his Syrian palace.
The first was Nabih Berri, Lebanon’s parliament speaker, also known as Mr X. They discussed Lebanon’s “national dialogue” and how Berri can best represent the Assad regime’s side in arguing for a “defense strategy” that keeps pro-Assad militias in charge of Lebanese security.
Israeli warplanes were the second totally unexpected visitors. They flew over Bashar’s palace and reminded Bashar that he is an easy target should they choose to take him out, LBC reported, citing AP and an Israeli TV report. The planes broke the sound barrier and
faced no resistance from the dormant Syrian defense forces.
It looks like Assad needs a new defense strategy. Perhaps an Iran-funded Syrian militia can take over the job from the Syrian army?
Update. More from AP/Yahoo:
Israel turned up the pressure on Palestinian militants to release a captive soldier Wednesday, sending its warplanes to bomb a Hamas training camp after knocking out electricity and water supplies for most of the 1.3 million residents of the Gaza Strip. Also, Israel said its warplanes flew over the home of Syrian President Bashar Assad, in a message aimed at pressuring him to win the release of a captured Israeli soldier.
The officials said four warplanes flew over a residence belonging to Assad in the Mediterranean port city of Latakia in northwestern Syria. Israeli television reports said Assad was home at the time.
Update 2. Syrian TV is claiming that "national air defenses opened fire in the direction of the planes, and they dispersed." The announcement did not mention Assad as a target, but it did quote an information ministry official calling the "overflight by two Israeli planes near the Syrian shores ... an aggressive act and a provocation."
Will the Assad regime mobilize its army to respond to this "provocation?" Or will it outsource its response to the nearest militia in Lebanon?