Attack postponed (archives)
Israel was ready to strike alleged Syrian nuclear facilities in July, but gave in to American pressure to postpone the attack, ABC News reported on Saturday.
According to the report, Israel presented the United States with satellite images of Syrian nuclear sites months before the September attack.
Ynet and Reuters
Sunday Times quotes Israeli officials as saying airstrike in Syria 10 days ago was planned in late spring after Mossad obtained evidence that Syria was seeking nuclear equipment. Meanwhile, North Korean official describes as 'groundless' reports that his country was giving nuclear expertise to Damascus
A US official told ABC that in addition to the satellite images, Israel also presented the Americans with evidence proving that that part of the nuclear technology was provided by North Korea.
The official defined the information as "jaw dropping", and said it raised questions as to why US intelligence had not uncovered the facility until now.
"Israel tends to be very thorough about its intelligence coverage, particularly when it takes a major military step, so they would not have acted without data from several sources," said ABC military consultant Tony Cordesman.
According to the report, Israel planned to attack within Syria on the week of July 14, but during high-level meetings in Washington, American officials argued over how to respond to the newfound information.
Some of the officials supported the Israeli action, but others, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice opposed an immediate attack, and officials urged Israel to confront Syria before attacking.
US officials said they were concerned about the impact an attack on Syria would have on the Middle East, and wanted unequivocal evidence that a nuclear facility was indeed being operated, in light of the results of poor intelligence in Iraq.
Israel eventually gave in to American pressure and called off the July strike. Nonetheless, the operation was carried out in September, despite American concerns, since Israel feared information about the Syrian facility would leak.