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The Syrian nuclear reactor
Pro-Assad media, groups ignore revelation Israel attacked Syrian reactor
Covering the Israel's admission it attacked the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007 as a side note at best, news outlets supportive of the Assad regime make a point of asserting the reactor mentioned by Israel was in fact a Syrian military facility, as pro-Assad groups refrain from responding to the announcement.

Days have passed since Israel admitted it attacked Syria's nuclear reactor in Deir ez-Zor in 2007, but it seems Arab news outlets and groups supportive of the Assad regime are refraining from addressing the revelation in any comprehensive fashion.

 

 

On the morning of the publication, Arab news media found it difficult to ignore the shocking news circulated by Israeli newspapers, news sites, and television channels, and indeed quoted them when covering it.

 

The story covered by Al-Quds Al-Arabi
The story covered by Al-Quds Al-Arabi

 

Major Arab news outlets such as Al-Jazeera, Al-Mayadin and Al-Arabiya quoted chiefly the statements of the IDF Spokesperson regarding the attack, gave a brief overview and returned to dealing with what they deemed were the truly pressing issues in the Arab world.

 

Media outlets in the Gulf States did cover the Israeli announcement, but was considered old news by the time it was published, as they already pointed the finger at Israel over the incident years before.

 

Syria, though, has not yet responded to the matter, and it is estimated that no response will be issued by the Assad regime in the foreseeable future. There was also no response from the allies of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah, or from other Arab countries.

 

The Lebanese Al-Mayadin network, which is affiliated with Hezbollah and supports the Assad regime, stressed the Syrian ambiguity on the issue and Syria's official denial of the existence of such a nuclear reactor, as Israel claims. Their article on the issue emphasized that the site was not a nuclear reactor as Israel claims but a Syrian military facility.

 

In the London-based pro-Saudi Al-Hayat newspaper, the headline read: "An Israeli message to the United States and Iran—a statement about the destruction of a Syrian nuclear reactor."

 

The article quoted Israeli commentators who claimed that the purpose of the announcement was to show that Israel was not afraid to carry out such acts alone, and therefore it was a message sent to Iran's nuclear program and the American administration.

 

Al-Quds Al-Arabi, which is also published in London, published an article focusing on disputes between the various intelligence agencies in Israel regarding the Syrian nuclear project and the destruction of the reactor.

 

The article also quoted Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who said after the publication that in view of the "war of credits and the wave of mutual slander" surrounding the attack on the Syrian reactor, he regrets that he authorized the military censor to permit publication of the details of the incident. The article also focused on the dispute between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak regarding the timing of the attack.

 


First published: 03.23.18, 19:05
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