Patterico's Pontifications

10/13/2007

NY Times reports Israel Bombed Syria over Nukes

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 1:29 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Those who still wondered whether or why Israel bombed Syria last month can rest a little easier.

The New York Times reports the bombing was directed at a partly constructed Syrian nuclear facility that was modeled on a North Korea facility:

“Israel’s air attack on Syria last month was directed against a site that Israeli and American intelligence analysts judged was a partly constructed nuclear reactor, apparently modeled on one North Korea has used to create its stockpile of nuclear weapons fuel, according to American and foreign officials with access to the intelligence reports.”

Sources claimed there wasn’t debate on the facts, just the appropriate response:

“There wasn’t a lot of debate about the evidence,” said one American official familiar with the intense discussions over the summer between Washington and the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel. “There was a lot of debate about how to respond to it.”

The North Korean connection may have been a deciding factor:

“North Korea has long provided assistance to Syria on a ballistic missile program, but any assistance toward the construction of the reactor would have been the first clear evidence of ties between the two countries on a nuclear program. North Korea has successfully used its five-megawatt reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex to reprocess nuclear fuel into bomb-grade material, a model that some American and Israeli officials believe Syria may have been trying to replicate.”

North Korea’s recent efforts at South Korean reconciliation and stated willingness to consider disarmament in the 6-party talks might be related. I doubt Syria will be North Korea’s most reliable customer for a while and that could put a crimp in North Korea’s under-the-table cash flow.

Earlier discussion on this topic in this post and the posts linked therein.

— DRJ

10 Responses to “NY Times reports Israel Bombed Syria over Nukes”

  1. I saw that. Sweet. Way to go

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  2. Wowza. Interesting.

    Itsme (f1b2da)

  3. Is that the “librul” New York Times passing on anonymously-sourced neocon propaganda?

    alphie (99bc18)

  4. google says…did you mean ‘librule’?

    allan (bb4b13)

  5. I guess I’m confused as to why Israel had to go and be all complicated in response to this nuclear threat from Syria.

    Why not just invade Syria, eliminate its government, and install a democracy? It sounds like a slam-dunk to me.

    Phil (aa9cba)

  6. Do they have any oil phil? Think!

    daleyrocks (906622)

  7. Syria and Lebanon would be much better off if that happened.

    DRJ (74c23b)

  8. There are certain cess-pools in the ME that are best dealt with by quarantine. Oil, at least, has a short-term return on investment.
    Trying to remake them without that short-term gain, is something left to a Higher Power.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  9. An interesting idea struck me. Perhaps Israel waited until after Syria had paid North Korea for the nuclear weapons deliveries and then destroyed the site. That way Syria no longer has the money to support other terrorist endeavors. In fact, Kim Jong Il could have arranged for Israel to get the information so that he gets the payments but does not have to continue delivering the products.

    Sabba Hillel (b3a959)

  10. Perhaps, but it’s doubtful Israel had that level of intelligence (I’m not saying it’s impossible). More likely, they found out about it, verified it, talked about it, and decided to strike without regard to financials.

    Christoph (92b8f7)


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