Revealing a secret airstrike, Israel sends message to 'enemies'
Revealing a secret airstrike, Israel sends message to 'enemies'
Netanyahu addresses the Negev Conference in Dimona Amos Ben Gershom GPO
22 March, 2018, 01:17
The country's intelligence minister, Israel Katz, also tweeted: "The (2007) operation and its success made clear that Israel will never allow nuclear weaponry to be in the hands of those who threaten its existence - Syria then, and Iran today".
The Israeli air force has conducted well over 100 airstrikes in Syria, most believed to target suspected weapons shipments destined for the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group.
Before midnight on September 5, 2007, four F-15 jets and four F-16 warplanes entered the Syrian airspace via Turkey, dropping almost 17 tons of bombs on the facility. "This equation should be understood by anyone in the Middle East", said Liberman. Eight combat jets (four F-15s and four F-16s) flew in low to avoid Syrian radar and dropped 17 tons of explosives on the reactor, which was completely destroyed.
As it happened, the event was first made public by Syria, which, as reported by Reuters at the time, said in the early hours of September 6 that Syrian air defences had repelled an incursion by Israeli warplanes.
In 2017, Syria's Permanent Representative at the UN Bashar al-Ja'afari lashed out at the Security Council and the IAEA for their failure to denounce Israel's blatant military attack in 2007, noting that Israel refused to cooperate with the IAEA in investigating the possible contamination caused by the Israeli rockets and the materials used to destroy the site.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said in the past that the site was "very likely" to have been a nuclear reactor. "And that is the message to our enemies for the future", he said in a statement.
Israel had acted before against the nuclear ambitions of its neighbours, notably in 1981 when it attacked a reactor under construction in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
The Israeli military's announcement on Wednesday noted that the area in question, around Deir al-Zor, was captured by Islamic State after the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011.
The release of the video comes amid growing concern in Israel about the years-long war unfolding next door in Syria. Gen. Amikam Norkin said that given the situation in Syria today, it was extremely fortunate that Israel struck when it did.
Hezbollah is fighting alongside Assad's regime, like Iran and Russian Federation.
Concern is growing that the confrontation between Israel and Iran will escalate further.
"The operation to destroy the reactor, code-named "Operation Out Of The Box" was carried out by fighter jets following an intensive intelligence operation over a continued period of time, and removed a nuclear threat from Israel and the entire region", the statement continued.
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