Netanyahu says policy to impede enemies from nuclear weapons

22 March 2018, 01:30 | Isaac Mcdaniel

After a decade Israel admits: We bombed Syria nuclear reactor in 2007

The Intelligence Failure: It Took Years for Israel to Discover Syria's Reactor

Eight F-16s and F-15s had taken off from two air bases and dropped 18 tonnes of munitions over a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria's Deir al-Zor region, about 450 km from Damascus, the capital, said the military.

"Everyone in the Middle East would do well to internalise this equation".

In his 2010 memoir "Decision Points", former President George W. Bush revealed that he discussed intelligence about the Syrian facility with then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert before it was leveled - but did not give him the go-ahead for the raid. He has threatened to withdraw from the multilateral deal on Iran's nuclear program.

Bergman said even without mentioning Iran by name, today's message was clear.

It has always been widely assumed that Israel carried out the strike. Syria is a signatory to the 1970 non-proliferation treaty.

"The message from the 2007 attack on the reactor is that Israel will not tolerate construction that can pose an existential threat", Eisenkot said. It said the reactor was close to being completed. The US was also part of the operation, as was made clear when US intelligence officials briefed Congress on their role in the attack in April 2008.

The situation was different from the first application of the Begin Doctrine, when Prime Minister Menachem Begin sent the air force into Iraq to destroy a nuclear reactor in 1981 and announced the successful mission to the world, leading to wide condemnation.

The UN atomic watchdog declared in 2011 that the Syrian site was "very likely" to have been a nuclear reactor, adding that information provided to it suggested that it was being built with North Korean assistance.

Uzi Rabi, an expert on Iran at Tel Aviv University, said Israel's surprising confirmation might be meant as a "warning sign" to Iran as it expands its military footprint in Syria.

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The new declassified materials included photographs and cockpit video said to show the moment that an airstrike targeted Syria's Al-Kubar facility.

"The Israeli government, our armed forces and the Mossad stopped Syria from developing nuclear capability".

Israel determined that the alleged reactor was "totally disabled, and that the damage done was irreversible".

Bergman agrees there are similarities between what happened then and Iran's attempts today to embed its forces in Syria.

Both Iran and Hezbollah are allied with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Concerns over Iran's nuclear and military ambitions have long dominated Netanyahu's rhetoric on the worldwide stage.

In 2008 the United States presented what it described as intelligence showing that North Korea had helped Syria with "covert nuclear activities".

Israel was unwilling to allow a potential enemy to develop nuclear capability but chose to launch... That was the message in 2007.

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