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Exclusive: Ynet reporter visits site of ‘Syria operation’

Ynet reporter and commentator Ron Ben-Yishai visits Syria, speaks to residents about Israel’s alleged overflight

Deir Ezzor is a city located in the Syria’s northeast region close to the Turkish border, and home to what Syria claims to be an agricultural research station.


It was there that residents heard the sound of jets overhead on the night between the fifth and sixth of September. It was there that Israel allegedly carried out an air raid two weeks ago.


Ron Ben Yishai in Deir Ezzor (Photo: Ron Ben-Yishai)


At a checkpoint in the city, a Syrian soldier refused us access to the agricultural research station. “Mam’nua!” he said firmly, and signaled a warning sign with his hand upon noticing the camera.


The farm was four or five kilometers away from us. From a distance, we could see some pits that looked like part of a mine or a quarry. But it was hard to identify exactly what was being done there.


Deir Ezzor locals did not seem to take the issue seriously, but nevertheless described Israelis as being conniving and evil, and believed they were capable of anything.


“There were a few Israeli planes here that made supersonic booms over the city and maybe even dropped something. We didn’t hear any explosions on the ground,” said Ali (alias), a resident of the city.


“All this talk about supposed tensions following an overflight of fighter planes is only meant to intimidate Israel. But the threat is not real,” a Syrian journalist told me.


“It’s all to deter Israel from doing something similar,” the journalist continued. According to him, Israel caused the supersonic booms in order to bait Syria into shooting down the planes, and thus give Israel reason to declare war.


In recent weeks, since Syria first reported an Israeli air raid on its territory, the international press has published more and more testimonies and claims regarding cooperation between Damascus and Pyongyang on nuclear issues.


Among other things, it has been claimed that Israel’s alleged attack came three days after the arrival of a shipment from North Korea in Syria. The North Korean government refuted the reports, and said they were “fabricated by lunatics”.


Nevertheless, a security meeting between representatives of both countries regarding “common interests” was reported as taking place at around the same time.


The full story will be published Wednesday by Yedioth Ahronoth. A complete documentation of Ron Ben-Yishai’s visit to Damascus, the Syrian Golan, and other sites, will be published in Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth at the end of next week.


פרסום ראשון: 09.26.07, 07:16
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