Syrian envoy: Israel will pay for foray

Ambassadors to UN, US deny report that IAF attacked in Syria after N. Korean nuclear shipment.

By JPOST STAFF, AP
September 14, 2007 18:55
2 minute read.
Syrian envoy: Israel will pay for foray

iaf planes 298 88 idf. (photo credit: IDF)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The secret IAF foray into Syrian airspace was in fact an Israeli air strike directly linked to a North Korean shipment of suspected nuclear material which was delivered to Syria three days before the attack, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. According to the report, the ship arrived on September 3 in the Syrian port of Tartus. On September 6, the Post report claimed that the IAF attacked an "agricultural research center" which Israel believed was a facility used by the Syrians to extract uranium from phosphates. The report quoted an anonymous source who said that he received his information from Israelis who participated in the attack. According to that source, Israel took significant measures to protect the secrecy of the mission, briefing only those pilots who actually carried out the strike, and not the pilots of the planes providing cover. Further, the pilots who were involved in the attack were only told details after they had already taken off. However, on Saturday Syria denied these reports, and claimed that nothing in Syria was bombed by the IAF, and nothing was damaged. Reports of such an attack are "ridiculous and not true," Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Ja'afari said. Ja'afari added that "Syria does not have North Korean nuclear facilities." Syrian Ambassador to the US Imad Moustapha told Newsweek that Israel would pay for its operation, Army Radio reported. Speculation over the IAF foray into Syrian territory has been the subject of considerable debate since news of the mission broke last week. On Friday, a senior US nuclear official said that the North Koreans were in Syria and Damascus may have had contacts with "secret suppliers" to obtain nuclear equipment. Andrew Semmel, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for nuclear nonproliferation policy, did not name the suppliers, but said there were North Koreans in Syria and that he could not exclude that the network run by disgraced Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan may have been involved. The Washington Post reported Thursday that Israel had gathered satellite imagery showing possible North Korean cooperation with Syria on a nuclear facility. Semmel, who is in Italy for a meeting Saturday on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, said that Syria was certainly on the US nuclear "watch list." "There are indicators that they do have something going on there," he said. "We do know that there are a number of foreign technicians that have been in Syria. We do know that there may have been contact between Syria and some secret suppliers for nuclear equipment. Whether anything transpired remains to be seen." "So good foreign policy, good national security policy, would suggest that we pay very close attention to that," he said. "We're watching very closely. Obviously, the Israelis were watching very closely." Asked if the suppliers could have been North Koreans, he said: "There are North Korean people there. There's no question about that. Just as there are a lot of North Koreans in Iraq and Iran." Asked if the so-called Khan network, which supplied nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea, could have been involved, he said he "wouldn't exclude" it.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

December 11, 2018
Egyptian lawyer detained after wearing yellow vest

By REUTERS