Israel bombs a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

Israel, in a first public acknowledgment, has confirmed that it bombed a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, saying that the strike removed a major threat to Israel and the region. While the 2007 strike had already been extensively reported around the world and discussed by U.S. officials, Israel had kept quiet until today, to avoid provoking Syrian reprisals and a possible regional war. With the growing dangers across the Middle East and the fragile nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel’s leadership decided to go public, releasing newly declassified operational footage, photographs and documents about the bombing and detailing the intelligence operation that led up to it. IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot emphasized that the timing of the public acknowledgement aims at sending a clear signal to Israel’s enemies, in which the Jewish state will not tolerate its enemies developing abilities that threaten the existence of the state of Israel. “The message of the (Israeli) attack on the reactor in 2007 was that Israel will not tolerate developing abilities that threaten the existence of the state of Israel. That was the message in 1981 (when Israel bombed an Iraqi reactor), that was the message in 2007 and this is the future message to our enemies,” IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot.

It is important to note that Israel concluded that the Syrian reactor had been under construction with North Korean help and was months away from activation.

In a clear signal to Iran, the Israeli Air Force commander underlined, following the publication, that Israel possesses the capability to carry out far more complicated missions. “To some extent, the insights and lessons drawn from that attack led us to develop plans to build up our strength so that that we know today how to reach further, our munitions are more accurate and can penetrate deeper, and our crews are capable of carrying out even more complicated missions,” Israeli Air Force Commander Major General Amikam Norkin.