US suspects Syria hiding nuclear facilities

Washington Post reports at least 3 hidden facilities were meant to provide fuel to bombed reactor.

syrian reactor 224 88 (photo credit: Courtesy ISIS)
syrian reactor 224 88
(photo credit: Courtesy ISIS)
While American efforts to defuse the nuclear crisis with Iran have yet to bear fruit, the Bush administration now appears to be focusing on another nuclear program that it believes is under secret development, this time in Syria. The US is appealing to the United Nations to send inspectors to search for hidden nuclear facilities in the country, The Washington Post reported Thursday. The Bush administration suspects Damascus is concealing at least three sites that were intended to provide fuel for a nuclear reactor that was destroyed by the IAF last fall. On September 6, IAF warplanes reportedly bombed a nuclear reactor that was being built with North Korean help deep in Syria. Damascus has repeatedly denied ever having built a reactor, and soon after the bombing, bulldozed the area and erected new buildings on top of the site. Israel has never officially admitted to carrying out the attack. In a briefing to congressmen on April 24, US intelligence officials suggested that the Syrian reactor was nearly operational when it was bombed. Yet no fuel source has ever been identified - a fact that has baffled experts. The suggestion that nuclear facilities remain hidden in Syria potentially solves that riddle. US government officials declined to describe the sites that have drawn interest, or to discuss how they were identified, according to the Washington Post report.