JERUSALEM: Israel´s military admitted for the first time Wednesday it was responsible for a 2007 air raid against a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor, a strike it was long believed to have carried out.
The admission along with the release of newly declassified material related to the raid comes as Israel intensifies its warnings over the presence of its main enemy Iran in neighbouring Syria.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also repeatedly called for the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran to be changed or eliminated.
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.
An Israeli military spokesman declined to respond to questions related to the admission and the release of the documents, including over the timing, which could be seen as a warning regarding Iran´s activities.
The declassified material includes footage of the strike, video of a speech by military chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot on the operation and pictures of secret army intelligence communiques about the site.
A military statement summarising the operation lays out the case for why Israel carried out the strike at the desert site in the Deir Ezzor region of eastern Syria on what it says was a nuclear reactor under construction.
It has long been widely assumed that Israel carried out the strike. Syria has meanwhile denied it was building a nuclear reactor.
“On the night between September 5th-6th, 2007, Israeli Air Force fighter jets successfully struck and destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor in development,” the Israeli statement says.
“The reactor was close to being completed. The operation successfully removed an emerging existential threat to Israel and to the entire region — Syrian nuclear capabilities.”__The News