Israel Admits Destroying Syrian Reactor In Move Seen Aimed At Iran

Israeli Defense Forces

Israeli Defense Forces

For over 10 years, Israeli officials have merely "winked" when asked about the operation. "This was the message in 1981, this is the message in 2007 and this is the future message to our enemies".

"Very early it was clear to us that this was a North Korean enabled plutonium enrichment reactor that was clearly created to advance a nuclear weapons program".

The admission along with the release of newly declassified material related to the raid comes as Israel intensifies its warnings over the presence of its main enemy Iran in neighbouring Syria.

Several months after the strike, the United States announced that intelligence indicated the site was a nuclear reactor with military goal, although Syria denied it.

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".

The Trump administration has also been locked in nuclear brinkmanship with North Korea - which the United States previously said it believed supplied the Al-Kubar reactor.

Gen. Amikam Norkin said the current turmoil in Syria has further vindicated the strike, particularly since the reactor was in an area later captured by Islamic State militants.

Mohammed Shami's wife Hasin Jahan to meet Mamta Banerjee on March 23
Inspite of letter being sent by BCCI, it is learnt that the Kolkata Police is unhappy with the response. The police sought the details to check if he had gone to Dubai as claimed by his wife Hasin Jahan .

Olmert has skirted around the issue, and military censors, for years, repeatedly saying that according to foreign sources Israel had been involved.

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

Military commanders were told to place their troops on high alert in the hours leading up to the attack in case Syria made a decision to respond, The Times of Israel said.

Israel has sought to avoid direct involvement in the Syrian civil war that broke out in 2011, but it acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes there to stop what it says are advanced arms deliveries to Lebanese group Hezbollah.

Israeli and American intelligence had indicated that Syria's Deir Ezzor site - also known as al-Kibar - housed a gas-cooled, graphite-moderated nuclear reactor capable of manufacturing weapons-grade plutonium, and that it was almost operational when Israel destroyed it under the direction of then-prime minister Ehud Olmert.

Israel's Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who served as commander of the Northern Command during the operation, said: "The lesson from the 2007 attack on the reactor is that Israel will not accept the establishment of a capability that constitutes an existential threat to Israel".

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