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June 28, 2006
An Appointment With The Opthalmologist

Israeli Air Force pilots paid a visit to the Middle East's most famous opthalmologist earlier today, reminding the doctor that unless he stops protecting Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, the IDF may send a lot more business his way soon:

Israeli warplanes buzzed the summer residence of Syrian President Bashar Assad early Wednesday, military officials said, in a message aimed at pressuring the Syrian leader to win the release of a captured Israeli soldier.

The officials said on condition of anonymity that the fighter jets flew over Assad's palace in a low-altitude overnight raid near the Mediterranean port city of Latakia in northwestern Syria. Israeli television reports said four planes were involved, and Assad was home at the time.

The flight caused "noise" on the ground, the military officials said on condition of anonymity, according to military guidelines.

The IDF has paid visits to Bashar Assad before. In 2003, they buzzed the house at a low enough altitude and high enoufh speed to shatter the windows of his villa. Syrians told the media that anti-aircraft fire drove off the jets, but not before Israel delivered its message.

The message is the same that George Bush announced on September 20, 2001. Those nations that support terrorism will find themselves held responsible for terrorist activity as if they had conducted it themselves. We have removed two brutal regimes under that same policy in Iraq and Afghanistan. The two biggest terror sponsors, however, still remain in power in Damascus and Teheran. Israel has apparently decided that Assad's sponsorship of Hamas makes him responsible for their attacks and abductions (up to three now), a decision that is both reasonable and long overdue.

Israel also wants to ensure that Assad understands that his life can be forfeit at any time Israel decides. The opthalmologist may not have the same acumen as his father, but one hopes he can read the writing on the wall. He has a choice to make -- and Israel wants him to understand the consequences of a bad decision.

UPDATE: CQ reader Turner H reminds me that Assad is an opthalmologist, not an optometrist. Good thing I have an eye appointment myself this Friday!

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 28, 2006 1:33 PM

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» Back? So Soon? from Hard Starboard
And soiled trousers too, I'd wager. Though this isn't the first time that the IAF has sent this message, which kind of dilutes its effectiveness. Had the jets bombed Assad's villa, Zarqawi-style, instead of putting on a glorified Blue Angels show, I ... [Read More]

Tracked on June 29, 2006 3:06 AM


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