Syria: Israel targeted nuclear facility

Syrian envoy to UN reveals nature of secret IAF air strike; Foreign Ministry confirms report.

October 17, 2007 07:27
1 minute read.
Syria: Israel targeted nuclear facility

F-16 great angle 298. (photo credit: Channel 10)

In its first admission by a state official, Syria's ambassador to the UN confirmed that an air raid carried out by Israeli fighter jets deep in Syrian territory on September 6 was, indeed, an attack on a Syrian nuclear facility, Israel Radio reported Wednesday morning. The Syrian envoy disclosed the nature of the target during a meeting of a UN committee where Israeli envoys were also present. A senior source in the Foreign Ministry confirmed that the statement was made in New York by the Syrian official. Since first announcing on September 6 that an incursion into Syrian airspace by IAF jets took place, Syria has attempted to strike a balance between mustering international condemnation of Israel on the one hand and efforts by Damascus to blur the nature and purpose of the facility attacked on the other hand. Nearly a month after the strike, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in a BBC interview that the target hit by the Israeli Air Force was a building in an abandoned military base. But several days before the Assad interview, a Syrian "agricultural research center" in the area of the strike independently invited foreign journalists to visit the site to offer proof that Israeli missiles missed their target. Israel continues to keep mum on the affair, and the only information cleared by the military censor for publication was the fact that a strike took place; any other information published in Israel continues to be accompanied by the phrase "according to foreign media outlets." Israeli analysts estimated that the government's decision not to disclose information about the strike was intended to avoid embarrassing Assad's regime, in the hope that silence on Israel's side could prevent the tension between the two countries from escalating into all-out war.

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