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Israel Sends Warning in Claiming Attack on Syrian Reactor

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21 Mar 2018 (All day)
Israel Sends Warning in Claiming Attack on Syrian Reactor
The IDF Military Censor issued an order late Tuesday for the de-classification of photos, videos and various other records which confirm what foreign reports had long indicated, that it was Israeli aircraft which destroyed a nuclear reactor in northeastern Syria in 2007. The reactor, which had been built by the Assad regime with assistance from North Korea, was weeks away from being activated when Israeli planes destroyed it. Details released Tuesday include satellite photos which the Israeli intelligence services first saw the reactor at an advanced stage of construction in the northeastern Deir al-Zor province, close to the Euphrates River, in May of 2007. According to an official who was part of the cabinet at the time, “It was a threat that we couldn’t live with. Syria with nuclear weapons would have posed an existential threat to the State of Israel.”

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tried to persuade US President George W. Bush to hit the reactor but he decided not to, so it was decided that Israel must act alone. After delays caused by political mechanizations in Jerusalem and under the threat of losing the element of surprise due to a request to the Pentagon for information about the situation by Fox News in the US, a decision was made to strike.

On 5 September, 2007, 8 Israeli aircraft were launched on a mission to bomb the reactor, returning home in the early morning hours of 6 September after successfully completing their mission.

In the wake of Tuesday’s revelation, Israeli officials past and present have stressed that Israel’s enemies should take a lesson from the strike and apply that lesson to their current plans regarding Syria, Israel and the wider region.

Here is a video statement by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot

 

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