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Operation Orchard: The Israeli Attack That Destroyed Syria's Nuclear Site
Syria Thwarted at al-Kibar
In 2000, the Mossad, the Israeli secret service received intelligence data that Syria may be embarking on a nuclear weapons site with direct technical help from the North Koreans and paid for by the Iranians. At that point, Israeli devoted many resources to verify this information provided by the Americans.
In 2002, construction began of the nuclear site situated at al-Kibar, Syria, close to Turkey. Numerous North Korean technicians arrived and directed the construction that from the air resembled a harmless building. It was under the canopy which would be dangerous. Even at this time, the IDF and Mossad, had no real evidence of what Syria was doing and was still unaware of its construction.
In 2004, the American National Service Agency (NSA) informs Israel that American intelligence has been detecting an abnormal amount of calls between the capitals of Syria and North Korea, The red flag was raised when many of the calls were also tracked to a place called al-Kibar, along the Euphrates River. This is the first time the IDF could now actually have a physical location of where the mysterious building was. The IDF devotes even more resources to monitor it.
In 2006, a Syrian delegation arrives in Kensington in London for governmental business. One of the top Syrian members leaves his laptop unsecured in his hotel room. Mossad agents secretly enter the room and insert a Trojan horse software program in the laptop to steal all data regarding al-Kibar. From the laptop, Israel obtains plans and other info regarding this nuclear site being built. Satellite images simply reveal a building of some sort and to most is very inauspicious.
Feb. 2007 - A key Iranian, Ali-Asari, Deputy Defense Minister for Iran, defects to the West via the CIA. He personally knows of the efforts and confirms all suspicions and data so far retrieved. He confirms that Iran is funding all costs and providing uraninum to Syria. He now lives inTexas and has a new identity.
Aug. 2007 - The President of Iran and other Iranian officials visit Syria and pledge $675 million dollars to Syria in aid for building the al-Kibar nuclear site. Intelligence reveals that the new site is a planned backup nuclear site for Iran for heavy water and plutonium for a Iranian nuclear site at Arak. Israeli special forces secretly conduct a covert raid to the site and take soil samples. Two ships are intercepted by the IDF, the Gregoria and Al-Ahamad both carrying a cargo of uranium materials from North Korea.
Sept.5-6, 2007 - Operation Orchard begins with 10 American made IDF F-15's taking off from Ramat David Airbase. The jets fly over the Mediterranean, however, three jets turn off and return to base. Seven jets continue flying at low altitude over the ocean northwards toward northern Syria, as they enter Syria airspace, Syrian AA missiles fire and miss but the AA sites are destroyed by the F-15s. It is 1 p.m. The F-15's descend upon the undefended site 81 miles from the Iraqi border and 30 km from the town of Dier-el Zor. Those in the town witness bright lights and explosions. The Syrian News Agency at 2.55 p.m. announces that Israeli jets have violated Syrian airspace. The President of Israeli calls the President of Syria telling him that Israel has no intention of hostile relations with them and no further military action will occur and the jets are returning. Further, he wishes to meet with them for their mutual cooperation. He does not wish the incident to turn into a regional war and hoped that Syria will feel the same and to keep the matter quiet out of the media. Syria agrees. Al-Kibar is destroyed.
At 6:45 p.m Israel makes a statement that no Israeli jets were involved. At 8:46 p.m., a US spokesperson states that the US has only second hand information and reports that contradict one another.
June 2008 - The IAEA (international atomic commission) take samples from the site and analyze them confirming that a large amount of uranium in the soil was found and is not naturally occurring in the soil.
June 2009 - The IAEA demanded to have access to the three other locations now know to have been linked to al-Kibar. Iran demands from Syria the return of all uranium shipments made.