Gas Week

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6 September: Israel air-raid on Syria, hit Syrian facility, near Turkish border; joint operation with US on unknown target?

Posted by gasweek on 3 October, 2007

Israel’s decision to attack Syria earlier this month came after Israel shared intelligence with President George Bush indicating that North Korean nuclear personnel were in Syria, according to US Government sources, reported The Age (22/9/2007, p. 17). Unlike Israel’s destruction of an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, Israel made no announcement of the recent raid and imposed strict censorship on reporting by the Israeli media.

A major raid…on extremely important target: But Israel’s Opposition Leader and former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, this week said the Jewish state had carried out an air strike in Syria and that he had backed it. “There is no question it was a major raid. It was an extremely important target,” said Bruce Riedel, a former intelligence officer at Brookings Institution’s Saban Centre.

Nuclear equipment mooted: The Israeli attack came just three days after a North Korean ship docked at the Syrian port of Tartus, carrying a cargo that was officially listed as cement. The ship’s role remains obscure. Israeli sources have suggested it carried nuclear equipment, others have claimed it contained only missile parts, and some have said the ship’s arrival and the attack are merely coinciden­tal.

Northern Syria, near the Turkish border; The target of Israel’s attack was said to be in northern Syria, near the Turkish border. A Middle East expert who inter­viewed one of the pilots said they operated under such strict security that the airmen flying cover did not know details of the mission. The pilots who conducted the attack were briefed only after they were in the air, he said. Syrian authorities said there were no casualties.

The Age, 22/9/2007, p. 17

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