Israel confirms it carried out 2007 airstrike on Syrian nuclear reactor

22 March, 2018, 02:00 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Russian citizens living in Israel voting at one of the 14 polling stations across the country March 2018

Israel Defense Forces said that Israeli airstrikes had destroyed a nuclear facility in 2007 in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, adding that the move was a message to Iran, Sputnik reports.

The military said that following the four-hour operation, the reactor "had been totally disabled", and the damage done "was irreversible".

As the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has revealed, during the night of September 5th and 6th, 2007, the Israeli Air Force destroyed a nuclear facility in its final stages of construction using F-16I "Sufa" (storm) and F-15I Ra'am (thunder) jets.

Israel did not explain why it decided now to confirm its assault at Deir Ezzour, 280 miles (450 kilometers) northeast of Damascus, on the night between September 5 and September 6, 2007, after steadfastly refusing to acknowledge involvement.

"To Russia, the Assad regime, and with respect to the Iranian nuclear program should the Iranians accelerate enrichment and seek to break out, that the Israelis are prepared to act against Iran as well".

Israel, after ten and a half years, officially acknowledged its involvement in the destruction of a secret nuclear facility in the neighboring country and declassified numerous materials about the preparation and conduction of the operation.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in the past that the site was "very likely" to have been a nuclear reactor.

In 2008 the United States presented what it described as intelligence showing that North Korea had helped Syria with "covert nuclear activities". Syria is a signatory to the 1970 non-proliferation treaty.

They flew to Deir al-Zor region, 450 km (270 miles) northwest of Damascus, and dropped 18 tonnes of munitions on the site, it said. It may be because former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who ordered the strike, has a memoir coming out soon.

At the time of the 2007 strike, Syria accused Israel of invading its airspace, but gave no further details about the target.

Intelligence minister, Israel Katz, said earlier on Twitter: "The (2007) operation and its success made clear that Israel will never allow nuclear weaponry to be in the hands of those who threaten its existence - Syria then, and Iran today".

Syria and Israel have fought in repeated wars since the Jewish state's founding in 1948.

"In historic hindsight, I think Israel's decision to destroy the reactor is one of the most important decisions taken here in the last 70 years". Iraq's nuclear reactor was obliterated in 1981, in an attack for which Israel took public responsibility. "And that is the message to our enemies for the future", IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said in a video statement regarding the 2007 bombing released Wednesday by the IDF.



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