Israel admits bombing Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

Israel admits bombing Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

Israel admits bombing Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

Israel on Wednesday formally acknowledged what everyone already knew - that its air force destroyed Syria's nuclear reactor on September 6, 2007.

US President Donald Trump, who met Netanyahu at the White House this month, has said that the nuclear deal must be "fixed" by May 12 or the United States will walk away. "This was the message in 1981, this is the message in 2007 and this is the future message to our enemies".

Olmert, who has served 16 months for corruption convictions and was been recently released from prison, said during an interview with Ynet News that when Israel's intelligence community notified him of the nuclear reactor, he decided that it must be destroyed.

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.

Syria signed the 1970 nuclear non-proliferation treaty and had always denied the site was a reactor or that Damascus cooperated with North Korea to build nuclear weapons.

The Deir Ezzor site, 280 miles northeast of Damascus, has changed hands multiple times during Syria's seven-year civil war, including a period under the control of Islamic State, The Times of Israel reports, noting that the Syrian military might have worked harder to defend the area if it contained a working nuclear plant.

"The global community must know that Israel will always protect the security of its citizens and take all necessary steps in the face of threats in our region", said Danon.

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After the bombing, Syria refused to allow IAEA inspectors to access the bombed site, heightening suspicions among the worldwide community. However, Barak claims he delayed the operation so that the Israel Air Force could mount the best possible orchestrated attack.

Under cover of night, the jets took off at 10:30 pm, flying low to avoid detection and returning at 2:30 am.

As Iran becomes increasingly engaged in Syria's seven-year conflict, Israel has grown distressed that its most potent foe has a military presence in a country with which it shares a border.

"Our enemies would be wise not to test Israel's resolve or question our readiness to defend our nation", the envoy said.

"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. Both Iran and Hezbollah are allied with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Concern is growing that the confrontation between Israel and Iran will escalate further.

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