Israel admits to 2007 airstrike on Syrian nuclear reactor

22 March, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Israel officially admits striking Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel will prevent its enemies from obtaining nuclear weapons after its military admitted it carried out a 2007 air raid against a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor.

Israel on Wednesday formally acknowledged what everyone already knew - that its air force destroyed Syria's nuclear reactor on September 6, 2007.

Meanwhile, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Tuesday that Tehran had defused regional threats against his country, turning them into "opportunities".

Amano's comments countered assertions by Syria that it had no atomic secrets, and it was the first time the United Nations nuclear watchdog spoke unequivocally about the issue. "Four F-16 jets eliminated a nuclear threat not only to Israel, but to the entire region".

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In 2011, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukia Amano, said for the first time that the target destroyed by Israeli warplanes was the covert site of a future nuclear reactor.

The Israeli military has now released previously classified cockpit footage, photographs and intelligence documents on the Al-Kubar facility, stating that the reactor was being built with help from North Korea and the facility had been months away from activation.

The Israeli military released previously classified cockpit video, images and intelligence materials about its September 6, 2007, attack on the Al-Kubar facility, which was being built with help from North Korea near Deir al-Zor in eastern Syria.

It could also be meant as a warning to archenemy Iran, which is deeply involved in Syria's conflict.

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Lieberman said: 'The motivation of our enemies has increased in recent years, but the strength of our army, our air force and our intelligence capabilities have increased compared with the capabilities we had in 2007.

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

The Israel Defense Forces say that their aircraft bombed the reactor in the months before it was commissioned.

Israel is not alone in its concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions. The former prime minister explained that from that moment, in March 2007, Israel's political and military echelons began preparing the operational activities, which he described as "unprecedented".

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George W. Bush, who was the president in 2007, wrote about the attack in his 2010 memoir, "Decision Points", saying that the successful bombing mission restored confidence he had lost in the Israelis after the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

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