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IAF jet (Illustration)
Photo: Israel Air Force
Photo: Reuters
North Korean ship (Illustration)
Photo: Reuters
Report: Suspected nuclear shipment prompted IAF raid over Syria
Prominent US expert on Middle East tells Washington Post IAF carried out raid over Syria three days after North Korean shipment arrived at country’s port carrying material labeled as cement

An IAF raid over Syria allegedly occurred three days after the country received a shipment of material from North Korea labeled as cement, according to a senior US expert on the Middle East, as reported in the Washington Post Saturday.

 

The expert, who spoke to the Washington Post on the condition of anonymity to avoid compromising his sources, said the attack seemingly targeted a northern Syrian facility that was labeled an agricultural research center, close to the Turkish border.

 

According to the expert, Israel has kept a close eye on the facility, believing that Syria was using it to extract uranium from phosphates.

 

It was not clear what the ship arriving from North Korea was actually carrying, although Israeli sources largely believed it was delivering nuclear equipment, the expert told the Washington Post.

 

The ship arrived at the Syrian port of Tartus on September 3; the attack supposedly occurred on September 6.

 

The expert told the Washington Post that the attack was under such strict operational security that the pilots conducting the attack were briefed only after they were in the air.

 

Israel has remained ambiguous on the matter over the past nine days.

 

According to the Washington Post, the expert said Israel’s attitude was a sign that it had learned a lesson since destroying the Osiraq nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981, and wanted to avoid condemnation by the international community by not bragging about the IAF’s alleged raid in Syria.

 

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