Posted by Joshua on Wednesday, October 24th, 2007
The Syrian nuke issue remains a "he-said-she said" issue until the photos are made available for public scrutiny.
Interview with Imad Moustapha, Syrian Ambassador to Washington.
The Israelis know very well, and the United States knows absolutely well, that there is no Syrian nuclear program whatsoever. It’s an absolutely blatant lie. And it’s not like they think we have but they’re not sure. They know. Let me be clear about it: Syria has never, ever contemplated acquiring nuclear technology. We are not contemplating it today. We are not contemplating doing this in the future – neither for military nor for civilian purposes.
All I’m saying is that every story that has to do with a Syrian nuclear program is an absolutely false story, full stop. Nothing whatsoever that Syria is doing has to do with nuclear technology for reasons that are simple for anyone to analyze: We are realists. We understand that if Syria even contemplated nuclear technology, then the gates of hell would open on us.
In Syria, we believe that the only way forward is to reach a peace agreement with the Israelis. We are realists. We do understand that the Israelis enjoy military superiority compared to the Syrian capabilities. … We also understand that the Israelis know very well that, despite their sheer military superiority, they cannot impose on us forever their policies of occupation. …
Then what did Israel attack?
Israel attacked a military installation in Syria. This is not unprecedented in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. … It was a military warehouse. …
I have written three letters to The New York Times telling them: Have you forgotten what you have done prior to the Iraq war, when you published all the fallout stories about the Iraqi WMDs? Don’t you realize that you’re being “Judith Millered” for the second time within five years? I’m trying to tell The New York Times: Look, be careful. Can’t you see that you are being led into extremely dangerous territory? You are accusing a country of doing something it has not even contemplated doing – based on nothing. Based on leaks from Israeli agents who are very happy playing this game.
Photographs Said to Show Israeli Target Inside Syria
By Robin Wright and Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, October 24, 2007; Page A01
Independent experts have pinpointed what they believe to be the Euphrates River site in Syria that was bombed by Israel last month, and satellite imagery of the area shows buildings under construction roughly similar in design to a North Korean reactor capable of producing nuclear material for one bomb a year, the experts say.
Photographs of the site taken before the secret Sept. 6 airstrike depict an isolated compound that includes a tall, boxy structure similar to the type of building used to house a gas-graphite reactor. They also show what could have been a pumping station used to supply cooling water for a reactor, say experts David Albright and Paul Brannan of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).
U.S. and international experts and officials familiar with the site, who were shown the photographs yesterday, said there was a strong and credible possibility that they depict the remote compound that was attacked. Israeli officials and the White House declined to comment.
Addendum: t_desco wrote in the comment section,
To me it does look similar to the Yongbyon reactor, which is compared in this article:
ISIS Imagery Brief: PDF
Suspect Reactor Construction Site in Eastern Syria: The Site of the September 6 Israeli Raid?
by David Albright and Paul Brannan
October 24, 2007
WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence has acquired evidence that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has enhanced its nonconventional warheads for the Scud C and Scud D ballistic missiles. Officials said Damascus has developed airburst capability for its ballistic missiles that would enable the warheads to detonate in the air. "Airburst capability would make chemical and biological weapons warheads much more lethal," an official said. Officials said the Syrian military has conducted ballistic missile airburst tests over the last year for both conventional and nonconventional warheads. They said the program was meant to develop a warhead that would explode several hundred meters in the air to allow for maximum distribution of lethal agents. The U.S. intelligence community has been unable to determine the success of Syria's efforts, officials said. But they said the airburst requirement was crucial for Syria's chemical weapons program. Syria has been aided by North Korea and perhaps Iran in developing airburst capability, the officials said. Both countries have established a significant presence in Syria and were facilitating Damascus's ballistic missile and nonconventional weapons programs. The intelligence community has also determined that North Korea was helping Syria advance in its nascent nuclear program. But the community has been divided over the pace of Syrian nuclear development. In July 2007, Israel relayed satellite images to the United States of a building said to be used for Syria's nuclear weapons program. Officials said the Bush administration was divided over the significance of the Israeli intelligence, which led to an Israel Air Force strike on a Syrian military base near the Iraqi border on Sept. 6.