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'New Yorker' publishes details of Syrian reactor strike

September 10, 2012 15:03

New details on Israel's 2007 strike on a nuclear reactor in Syria emerged Monday in a New Yorker article by David Makovsky, a scholar at the Washington Institute for Near-East Policy.

According to the report, Israel struck the reactor using four F-15 and four F-16 planes, dropping some 17 tons of explosives on the reactor between the hours of 12:40 and 12:53 a.m. on September 5, 2007.

Intelligence for the strike came from a "daring raid" by Mossad into Syrian Atomic Energy Commission head Ibrahim Othman's home in Vienna, in which they recovered several dozen color photos from the inside of the suspected building. The photos provided evidence of both North Korean workers at the site and structural similarities with the North Korean reactor in Yongbyon, indicating that the building was indeed a plutonium reactor.

According to the report, then-US president George W. Bush did not think there was enough evidence to warrant a preemptive strike, so Israel opted to go it alone.

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