Григорий Громов (abcdefgh) wrote,
Григорий Громов

Таинственный рейд израильских истребителей: версия "The Sunday Time"

Английская газета Times опубликовала в своем воскресном выпуске пространную статью, специально посвященную заинтриговавшему мир полету израильских истребителей вглубь сирийской территории:


Israelis ‘blew apart Syrian nuclear cache’

Secret raid on Korean shipment

IT was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way.

At a rendezvous point on the ground, a Shaldag air force commando team was waiting to direct their laser beams at the target for the approaching jets. The team had arrived a day earlier, taking up position near a large underground depot. Soon the bunkers were in flames.

Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea.

The Israeli government was not saying. “The security sources and IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] soldiers are demonstrating unusual courage,” said Ehud Olmert, the prime minister. “We naturally cannot always show the public our cards.”
Related Links

* A tale of two dictatorships: The links between North Korea and Syria

The Syrians were also keeping mum. “I cannot reveal the details,” said Farouk al-Sharaa, the vice-president. “All I can say is the military and political echelon is looking into a series of responses as we speak. Results are forthcoming.” The official story that the target comprised weapons destined for Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group, appeared to be crumbling in the face of widespread scepticism.

Andrew Semmel, a senior US State Department official, said Syria might have obtained nuclear equipment from “secret suppliers”, and added that there were a “number of foreign technicians” in the country.

Asked if they could be North Korean, he replied: “There are North Korean people there. There’s no question about that.” He said a network run by AQ Khan, the disgraced creator of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, could be involved.

But why would nuclear material be in Syria? Known to have chemical weapons, was it seeking to bolster its arsenal with something even more deadly?

Alternatively, could it be hiding equipment for North Korea, enabling Kim Jong-il to pretend to be giving up his nuclear programme in exchange for economic aid? Or was the material bound for Iran, as some authorities in America suggest?

According to Israeli sources, preparations for the attack had been going on since late spring, when Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, presented Olmert with evidence that Syria was seeking to buy a nuclear device from North Korea.

The Israeli spy chief apparently feared such a device could eventually be installed on North-Korean-made Scud-C missiles.

“This was supposed to be a devastating Syrian surprise for Israel,” said an Israeli source. “We’ve known for a long time that Syria has deadly chemical warheads on its Scuds, but Israel can’t live with a nuclear warhead.”

An expert on the Middle East, who has spoken to Israeli participants in the raid, told yesterday’s Washington Post that the timing of the raid on September 6 appeared to be linked to the arrival three days earlier of a ship carrying North Korean material labelled as cement but suspected of concealing nuclear equipment.

The target was identified as a northern Syrian facility that purported to be an agricultural research centre on the Euphrates river. Israel had been monitoring it for some time, concerned that it was being used to extract uranium from phosphates.

According to an Israeli air force source, the Israeli satellite Ofek 7, launched in June, was diverted from Iran to Syria. It sent out high-quality images of a northeastern area every 90 minutes, making it easy for air force specialists to spot the facility.

Early in the summer Ehud Barak, the defence minister, had given the order to double Israeli forces on its Golan Heights border with Syria in anticipation of possible retaliation by Damascus in the event of air strikes.

Sergei Kirpichenko, the Russian ambassador to Syria, warned President Bashar al-Assad last month that Israel was planning an attack, but suggested the target was the Golan Heights.

Israeli military intelligence sources claim Syrian special forces moved towards the Israeli outpost of Mount Hermon on the Golan Heights. Tension rose, but nobody knew why.

At this point, Barak feared events could spiral out of control. The decision was taken to reduce the number of Israeli troops on the Golan Heights and tell Damascus the tension was over. Syria relaxed its guard shortly before the Israeli Defence Forces struck.

Only three Israeli cabinet ministers are said to have been in the know � Olmert, Barak and Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister. America was also consulted. According to Israeli sources, American air force codes were given to the Israeli air force attaché in Washington to ensure Israel’s F15Is would not mistakenly attack their US counterparts.

Once the mission was under way, Israel imposed draconian military censorship and no news of the operation emerged until Syria complained that Israeli aircraft had violated its airspace. Syria claimed its air defences had engaged the planes, forcing them to drop fuel tanks to lighten their loads as they fled.

But intelligence sources suggested it was a highly successful Israeli raid on nuclear material supplied by North Korea.

Washington was rife with speculation last week about the precise nature of the operation. One source said the air strikes were a diversion for a daring Israeli commando raid, in which nuclear materials were intercepted en route to Iran and hauled to Israel. Others claimed they were destroyed in the attack.

There is no doubt, however, that North Korea is accused of nuclear cooperation with Syria, helped by AQ Khan’s network. John Bolton, who was undersecretary for arms control at the State Department, told the United Nations in 2004 the Pakistani nuclear scientist had “several other” customers besides Iran, Libya and North Korea.

Some of his evidence came from the CIA, which had reported to Congress that it viewed “Syrian nuclear intentions with growing concern”.

“I’ve been worried for some time about North Korea and Iran outsourcing their nuclear programmes,” Bolton said last week. Syria, he added, was a member of a “junior axis of evil”, with a well-established ambition to develop weapons of mass destruction.

The links between Syria and North Korea date back to the rule of Kim Il-sung and President Hafez al-Assad in the last century. In recent months, their sons have quietly ordered an increase in military and technical cooperation.

Foreign diplomats who follow North Korean affairs are taking note. There were reports of Syrian passengers on flights from Beijing to Pyongyang and sightings of Middle Eastern businessmen from sources who watch the trains from North Korea to China.

On August 14, Rim Kyong Man, the North Korean foreign trade minister, was in Syria to sign a protocol on “cooperation in trade and science and technology”. No details were released, but it caught Israel’s attention.

Syria possesses between 60 and 120 Scud-C missiles, which it has bought from North Korea over the past 15 years. Diplomats believe North Korean engineers have been working on extending their 300-mile range. It means they can be used in the deserts of northeastern Syria � the area of the Israeli strike.

The triangular relationship between North Korea, Syria and Iran continues to perplex intelligence analysts. Syria served as a conduit for the transport to Iran of an estimated £50m of missile components and technology sent by sea from North Korea. The same route may be in use for nuclear equipment.

But North Korea is at a sensitive stage of negotiations to end its nuclear programme in exchange for security guarantees and aid, leading some diplomats to cast doubt on the likelihood that Kim would cross America’s “red line” forbidding the proliferation of nuclear materials.

Christopher Hill, the State Department official representing America in the talks, said on Friday he could not confirm “intelligence-type things”, but the reports underscored the need “to make sure the North Koreans get out of the nuclear business”.

By its actions, Israel showed it is not interested in waiting for diplomacy to work where nuclear weapons are at stake.

As a bonus, the Israelis proved they could penetrate the Syrian air defence system, which is stronger than the one protecting Iranian nuclear sites.

This weekend President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran sent Ali Akbar Mehrabian, his nephew, to Syria to assess the damage. The new “axis of evil” may have lost one of its spokes.

* Have your say

Still more spin cycles for the war with Iran and Syria. How many are still caught up in all those warmongering lies? Way too many fall for deceptions without asking for proofs or evidences. Israel bombed a sovereign country (Syria) and this is an act of war that should be decried the World over just like Irak and Afghanistan. The morality of the West has indeed fallen very low. Wake up before you drag us in the Final War, the Mother of all War...

Michel Tr., Montreal, Canada

Bravo! Once again Israel has rejected the cowardice and wishful thinking, which form the foundation of Western security policies, and taken decisive action against a sworn enemy of the West. Pay attention Europe and America!

David, Homestead, Florida, USA

Amen! to what Felton in Delaware said.

sheila, knox, tn

A new campaign of lies as was done prior to the Iraqi war. WMD translated to nuclear material . So utterly obvious.
Israel is demonstrating its supremacy in the air probably
attacking a bunker of low significance. As I remember, at least
dozens of WMD factories and stockpiles were identifed from the
air prior to the Iraq war some of them figuring in Powells infamous Power point show at the UN. - Later Powell resigned in shame. And shame is coming to those others cooking the lies
about Iraq Greenspan is opening a corner of Pandoras box .

F Yngvason, Akureyri, Iceland

good for Isreal, quick, effecitve, decisive action. In a country where most of your neighbors what you annialted it is good to see you still can protect yourself. WMB from Iraq....I've always thought soooo.

josh, portland,

The article is very informative It leads one to ponder the after effects from a diplomatic angle.

The nuclear aspiratons of some of these middle-eastern states is very troubling for the western world more so Israel.

''Israel showed it is not interested in waiting for diplomacy to work'' Would Israel take pre-emptive action against Iran if it determined that Iran's program was a clear and present danger?

This is very interesting and a development the Iranians are concerned about with their visit to Syria.
In the fullnest of time, we will find out.

Edison, Toronto, Canada


Edward Rousseau, Green Bay,

Some facts do not add up. The F15i doesn't need aux fuel tanks to reach any place in Syria. The droped tanks looked OK, because they were empty. Most probably the Israeli planes tested a route to Iran and something happened in their way back. Also "nuclear cache" is very vague and didn't require an urgent action. Possible an emmergency target were some misiles with chemical warheads in process of being loaded with fresh binary substances. This procedure could have been detected easily. It is no clear how many plane were involved, where they came from and where they went, and who they were, etc.

Andrei, Newton MA , USA

What? Another pre-emptive strike on a middle-east country suspected of having weapons of mass destruction? Cool stuff.

Brian, Parker, CO

The only unfullfilled Biblical prophecy I know of before the terrible tribulation starts is the destruction of Damascus form Is. 17. It could not far off........ People get ready Jesus will remove true believers before those 7 years of global disaster starts. The nation of Israel has come into existance and ben "a cup of trembling" for the nations ever since. Jews the world over are streaming back to Israel in accordance with prophecy.
The temple is ready to be rebuilt with all the priestly garments and temple vessels made but the temple is not built according to Revelation until the Tribulation. Turn to Jesus now before it is to late. Repent, beforgiven, receive mercy, grace, peace and life eternal.

Eric, Washington, usa

Israel did the right thing by bombing Syrian sites. Force is the only language the Muslim Jihadists understand. Bombs speak louder than words.

Philip, Houston, USA-Texas

This is extremely worrying. I have no doubt that if action was take it was for good cause, however if these things are done with a lack of transparancy and without the support of the world community it will likely increase instability in the area.

Les Cantlay, Yorl, UK

Hope Israel helps us with Iran so we can do the same thing to them. Good job Israel, keep up the great job your doing.

John Garland, Alton, MO

Wow...a precursor to an attack on Iran?

Wesley, Cheyenne, WY, USA

Thank you for the excellent article! I wish we here in the US could find informative articles like this about what's really going on in the world, instead of pablum about how fat Britney Spears is, or how many times Lindsey Lohan has been in rehab this year...

artemis, Felton, Delaware, US

Does anyone think that some of the nuclear material the Isaeli's destroyed could have come from Iraq before, during and after the initial war? Many US intelligence Agencies believe Sadam moved his Weapons of Mass Destruction to Syria with the help of the Russian special forces.

Of course, that would prove President Bush was right, and that would be wrong!

Kent A. McNeil, Bellaire, Michigan

We all know Israel is the only country allowed nuclear capabilities, that's nothing new. The problem, however, is all the 'Israel believes' , 'concern that it was', 'rife with speculation', 'may be in use', 'but suggested the target' that we saw so many times in the lead up to Iraq's invasion to rid that country of 'proven' WMD (even to the extent that the UN was shown diagrams and sat photos as evidence. Are these yet to come? Everything now seems to be pre-emptive on a pre-conceived idea.

tariq , ashford,

Great Job IDF, keep up the good work

TampaJoe, Tampa, USA/FL

World War Three has started then...

Zened, London,

Great work! Long live Israel, long live liberty!

Derek, Shanghai,

Whatever the true target of the IAF mission was, assuming there was a mission, the leaders of both Syria and Iran will now not rest easily.
The questions that must now be asked are whether Israel has tired of US and European diplomatic efforts to prevent Iranian nuclear armament, will Israel also attack Iranian nuclear sites, with what results and with what kind of Iranian reprisal.

Jonathan Safren, Kfar-Saba, Israel

Интересны в том числе и комментыв к статье. Вот пример одного из наиболее характерных:

Bravo! Once again Israel has rejected the cowardice and wishful thinking, which form the foundation of Western security policies, and taken decisive action against a sworn enemy of the West. Pay attention Europe and America!

David, Homestead, Florida, USA


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