Former defense officials object Syria operation to disclosure

Some former defense figures on Wednesday questioned the wisdom and the timing of making the confirmation of Israel's 2007 operation in Syria public.

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March 22, 2018 01:41
1 minute read.
Moshe Yaalon

Moshe Yaalon. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

While most officials’ discussion of Israel’s 2007 attack on the Syrian nuclear reactor revolved around taking credit, some former defense figures on Wednesday instead questioned the wisdom and the timing of making the confirmation public.

Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon questioned the decision to confirm the attack, implying that political calculations might be involved.

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Ya’alon was speaking at the Netanya Academic College Meir Dagan Conference.
IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot's First Hand Account of of the Attack on the Syrian Nuclear Facility in 2007, When He was the GOC of the Northern Command (IDF)

He also expressed doubt about whether Dagan, a former IDF major-general and Mossad director who died in March 2016, would have approved of acknowledging Israel carried out the attack after only 10 years had passed.

At the same conference, another former Mossad director, Tamir Pardo, went even further: “I’m not sure it was good to publicize the attack on Syria now. We could have done it seven years ago or in another seven years.”

He warned that the official confirmation was part of the “problem in Israeli culture of a battle of egos to take credit” for such secret operations.

Former IDF intelligence research division head Eli Ben Meir was also lukewarm about the decision to confirm the attack. In comments to Israel Radio on Wednesday, he took a disapproving tone while responding to some questions, noting that he had not approved the confirmation.


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