“Satellite Photos Show Cleansing of Syrian Site,” by Broad and Mazzetti

Satellite Photos Show Cleansing of Syrian Site

New commercial satellite photos show that a Syrian site believed to have been attacked by Israel last month no longer bears any obvious traces of what some analysts said appeared to have been a partly built nuclear reactor.

Two photos, taken Wednesday from space by rival companies, show the site near the Euphrates River to have been wiped clean since August, when imagery showed a tall square building there measuring about 150 feet on a side.

The Syrians reported an attack by Israel in early September; the Israelis have not confirmed that. Senior Syrian officials continue to deny that a nuclear reactor was under construction, insisting that Israel hit a largely empty military warehouse.

But the images, federal and private analysts say, suggest that the Syrian authorities rushed to dismantle the facility after the strike, calling it a tacit admission of guilt.

“It’s a magic act — here today, gone tomorrow,” said a senior intelligence official. “It doesn’t lower suspicions, it raises them. This was not a long-term decommissioning of a building, which can take a year. It was speedy. It’s incredible that they could have gone to that effort to make something go away.”

Any attempt by Syrian authorities to clean up the site would make it difficult, if not impossible, for international weapons inspectors to determine that exact nature of the activity there. Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna have said they hoped to analyze the satellite images and ultimately inspect the site in person. David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington that released a report on the Syrian site earlier this week, said the expurgation of the building was inherently suspicious.

“It looks like Syria is trying to hide something and destroy the evidence of some activity,” Mr. Albright said in an interview. “But it won’t work. Syria has got to answer questions about what it was doing.”

The striking difference in the satellite photos surprised even some outside experts who were skeptical that Syria might be developing a nuclear program.

“It’s clearly very suspicious,” said Joseph Cirincione, an expert on nuclear proliferation at the Center for American Progress in Washington. “The Syrians were up to something that they clearly didn’t want the world to know about.”

Mr. Cirincione said the photographic evidence “tilts toward a nuclear program,” but does not prove that Syria was building a reactor. Besides, he said, even if it was developing a nuclear program, Syria would be l years away from being operational, and thus not an imminent threat.

Gordon D. Johndroe, a White House spokesman, declined to comment on the satellite pictures.

The satellite images of the Syrian site were taken by DigitalGlobe, in Longmont, Colo., and SPOT Image Corporation, in Chantilly, Va. They show just a smooth, unfurrowed area where the large building once stood.

The desolate Syrian site is located on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River some 90 miles north of the Iraqi border and seven miles north of the desert village of At Tibnah. An airfield lies nearby. The new images reveal that the tall building is gone but still show a secondary structure and a pumping station on the Euphrates. Reactors need water for cooling.

The purported reactor at the site is believed to be modeled on a North Korean model, which uses buildings a few feet longer on each side than the Syrian building that vanished.

Mr. Albright called the Syrian site “consistent with being a North Korean reactor design.” Imad Moustapha, the Syrian ambassador to the United States, said in an interview last week with The Dallas Morning News denied that his country was trying to build a reactor.

“There is no Syrian nuclear program whatsoever,” he said. “It’s an absolutely blatant lie.”

Later in the interview, he said, “ We understand that if Syria even contemplated nuclear technology, then the gates of hell would open on us.”

Comments (46)


1. syrthefuture said:

It’s gone?- you’re kidding!

Maybe because somebody bombed it. Anyone think about that? When something gets bombed, you dont just leave it. You clean the debris. Somebody was talking about bringing down a building takes almost a year in Syria. Well, not when a foreign power bombs it, it doesn’t.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 6:17 pm

 

2. t_desco said:

The comment by the “senior intelligence official” is a little bit disingenuous, “here today, gone tomorrow”: almost two months have passed, we don’t know how massive the building was and how much of it was destroyed in the attack whereas he does know it because he probably had access to post-strike images and also images showing the clean-up process which would be helpful to determine what actually was inside the building. As Dr. Jeffrey Lewis points out: “For analytic completeness, we need images of the site between the strike and the clean-up operation.” If they were so concerned about the cover-up, why did they not leak the coordinates of the site earlier?

Constructing a Magnox reactor is hardly a secret way to obtain an atomic weapon. It’s like putting up a signpost that says “Please bomb here“. I don’t understand why the Syrians would want to do that.

Nibras Kazimi was so kind to translate “Part 3.5” of the Al-Akhbar series on his blog, Talisman Gate:

Narrative of a Conspiracy, Part 3.5

I translated part of the final section that appeared on October 16, 2007 in al-Akhbar, and hopefully will put up the remaining part of the piece and my own analysis of Faisal Akbar’s testimony over the next few days:

“After the Saudi detainee Faisal Akbar confessed to the details of the operation to assassinate Rafiq Hariri, he goes back and retracts his full testimony in the same interrogation session:

Q: Through surveying the events before the attack, and we mean the security cameras that are concentrated in the vicinity of where the explosion took place, and based on deductions that are available to us, and what was forthcoming in your statement here, it turns out that the truck was moving before the attack. There is information that says that Abu Ades does not drive, and you did not tell us that you gave him any lessons on driving in the seminar your administered to him, in addition to this issue of driving, and under such circumstances, he would not have been able to control the driving of the truck at the speed that was seen on the security camera. Then it is also somewhat dangerous to parade Abu Ades in the Syrian cities, Damascus, Aleppo and Homs, and to smuggle him over the land borders and to place him in the middle of the capital, where he is from, and to risk having him identified by chance and thus ruining your plans. It was also proven that there was not DNA [evidence] indicating that Ahmed Abu Ades was at the scene of the crime. It is certain that you are an explosives expert, and we noticed this while searching the Rosheh apartment, where we found ear plugs and special eardrops for you, and that you have symptoms in your ears, as we were told by the doctor in your group. It is also clear that Abu Ades taped the video film, but it is not known what happened after that.
Now tell us how the operation took place, and what happened to Abu Ades, and who are the real participants and perpetrators and activists and look-outs who were involved in preparing the vehicle and the explosives and all the elements of the crime? Tell us about all that with honesty, and about the place where you stayed in?

A: The truth is that Ahmed Abu Ades recorded the video tape, and he was brought by Khalid al-Taha from Beirut on 16/1/2005 to Sheikh Rashid, to his headquarters in Aleppo. During this time, I had been in Beirut for two months with the operation team, and with us was Jamil and Adnan and Fawwaz and Thamir and Bassam and Muhanned, and we were staying at an apartment in the Dhahia. Khalid al-Taha joined us, afterwards, to finish-up the surveillance operation, and let it be known that the person who conducted the bombing was a Saudi youth, who arrived from the ‘Al-Qaeda in the Haramein’ [organization], and he was sent by Abu Hajer. He’s the one who conducted the operation to assassinate Hariri using the same truck that I mentioned to you. Afterwards we broke the [SIM cards] of our cell phones, and we left the places that we were at, and then we crossed over to Syria through smuggling.
The suicide bomber was called Abu Muqatil al-Asadi, and the truck was prepared [for detonation] in the ‘Ain al-Helwah Camp by Abu ‘Ubeida.

Q: Can you remember any of the [cell phone] numbers that were used by yourselves in the two month period that you mentioned?

A: No, I can’t remember any of them.

Q: We will show you a list of eleven numbers, can you recognize any of the numbers that were used in what you mentioned?

A: The numbers used were seven, and not eleven, and after perusing [your list] I can’t remember any of them.

Q: Can you inform us about the address or the full identity of Abu Muqatil al-Asadi?

A: No, I cannot inform you of that.

Q: If we took you with us, would you be able to identify the apartment in which you stayed during the preparation phase of the operation that you claimed to have participated in?

A: No, I don’t remember how to get to these places.

Q: Then why did you weave together events from your imagination or from a source you may have heard give the details if you hadn’t participated [in these events]?

A: I should tell you that Sheikh Rashid, and that was two weeks ago and we were in Lebanon in the Shati’ al-Dhahabi apartment, had asked me to inform the guys that the security services in Lebanon don’t know anything about the subject of Ahmed Abu Ades. He added that I should inform them that if any of them was detained by these [security] services, that they should not confess to the issue of Ahmed Abu Ades. On this basis, and through my close relationship and understanding of my emir, Sheikh Rashid, I imagined the details as I mentioned to you, and I put myself in these details since I thought that you wouldn’t believe that I hadn’t participated if I had told you the details without being part of their stages.

Q: We asked you repeatedly to speak with honesty and to be specific, and it was you who claimed that Abu Turab was the alias of Ahmed Abu Ades, and that he was brought to you in Syria by way of Khalid al-Taha. What is established is that the latter is connected to you, and you deliberately smuggled him into the Ain al-Helwah Camp. And after we questioned you about this Abu Turab, you informed us that you learnt that his real name later after you watched Abu Ades appear on TV.
You are the one who wanted to give this detailed information, that corresponded with the results of our investigations and many elements of the investigations so far. So do you know Ahmed Abu Ades, and did you smuggle Khalid al-Taha to the camp, and did the following [persons] attend your security seminars: Khalid al-Taha, Hani al-Shenti, Amer Hallaq, Selim Halimeh, and Bilal Za’aroureh?

A: I lied to you about the topic of my meeting of Ahmed Abu Ades. As for Hani al-Shenti whose alias is Marwan, and Bilal Za’aroureh also known as Jalal, and Amer Hallaq also known as Wasim, and Selim Halimeh also known as Samir, they underwent security seminars with me, and then they pledged allegiance to Sheikh Rashid.

Q: Why this exclusivity, since all the aforementioned knew and had a relationship with Ahmed Abu Ades, and why is he excluded from your list, given that he follows the same creed. What is the purpose of crossing him out of the list?

A: I affirm to you that I didn’t see Ahmed Abu Ades during my security seminars.

Q: Tell us about the frequency of seminars that you set up for those who requested them over the last two years?

A: I shall tell you that I gave seminars to approximately four persons every week, over the last two years. Youth from all the countries of the Islamic world would attend, including those from Lebanon and Palestinians residing [in Lebanon].

Q: Were you distracted by something during this period you talk of, and what distracted you from training the mujaheddin. If yes, tell us when and for how long and why?

A: No, I didn’t leave my work giving lectures in security seminar but once and that was for a week in June 2005, when I went to Iraq and met Sheikh Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi to discuss the matter of the Syrian-Iraqi border.

Q: Can you remember the young [men] who came to you in the first and second month of 2005, especially any Lebanese or a Palestinian residing in Lebanon, and to name him?

A: No, I don’t remember any of these guys from that period.

Q: By looking into the call logs of the seven numbers that were used from 4/2/2005 to 14/2/2005 until 1 PM, that is the time of the assassination of the martyr president Hariri, these numbers only called each other, and their geographical movements paralleled on different dates the movement of the private convoy of the martyr and the vicinity of the parliament and the St. George Hotel and the places overlooking it, and they were shut off at the moment of the explosion or seconds after that and were never active again, in addition to the cut-off in the activity of these lines after noontime on 14/1/2005 to start up again on the morning of 20/1/2005, given that Ahmed Abu Ades disappeared on the morning of 16/1/2005 and that corresponded to the time that Khalid al-Taha arrived on the evening of the 15/1/2005, and his departure from Lebanon through the Masna’a [border point] on the morning of 16/1/2005.
In addition to that, your distribution of those [tasked with] surveillance and monitoring, as you called them in your testimony, at the places that you mentioned which matched the movement of those who were using the numbers and the times of when they woke up [also matched] what you told about your movements in the apartment in Dhahia. We also, in order to verify [information], showed you a list of [phone] numbers so that you’d remember the numbers that were used as you told us, and we added four fake numbers to them, and corrected us by telling us that the numbers used were seven [in number], and not eleven, which corresponded to the aliases you mentioned: five onlookers and you and Jamil makes seven, and these facts did not appear in the news or in the media. How do you explain your knowledge of these details, and how is it that you can describe the streets of Beirut and its landmarks. Can this all be by way of coincidence?

A: It occurred to me to mention five onlookers, so I gave you made-up aliases, and me and Jamil make seven. Thus the number seven popped into my mind and I mentioned it to you. And I had no knowledge that the numbers that you say were used to in the phases of the Hariri assassination were seven.
I also concocted the places that I told you about, and that the surveillance team had been based there, and that was a figment of my imagination, and I used my knowledge of these streets and the St. George since I’ve been to Lebanon on previous occasions and I know them since then, and they would be useful to be sites for observing the place of the assassination that I saw on television. As for the disappearance of Ahmed Abu Ades, I know nothing about this subject, except what Rashid told me recently which I mentioned to you, to warn the guys, Marwan and Khalid Taha, not to tell the security services anything concerning Abu Ades.

Q: Since you are an instructor of many security seminars for the youth, and we have looked-over the content of the lessons that you would give on this manner from what was captured among the belongings of the detainees, it had become clear that there were lessons on how to mislead interrogators and other techniques, and advice to the students that in the case of investigations being conducted with them then they should deviate the course of the interrogation to waste time and to hide facts, and this was made very clear in your statement. Why do you resort to this technique?

A: It was not my intention to mislead the investigation or to hide information, and now I telling the truth about what I have to say.

Q: So you retract your testimony over meeting and interviewing Abu Ades?

A: Yes, I retract it, and I didn’t see him or meet him in any prior time. I only watched him on television on three occasions, and that was after the bombing.

Q: What else do you recant from your testimony?

A: I recant my knowledge of or participation in the phases of the Hariri assassination on 14/2/2005.
Talisman Gate

To make the confusion complete, Abu Hajer (Abdel Aziz al-Muqrin) who supposedly sent the young suicide bomber to Lebanon was killed in Saudi Arabia in June 2004.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 6:26 pm

 

3. Ziad said:

Syrian blogger Roukana Hamour has been Kidnapped

http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/author/sami-ben-gharbia/

Roukana’s site :
http://roukana.maktoobblog.com/

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 6:32 pm

 

4. Nur al-Cubicle said:

So where are the pictures from the day after the raid?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 7:17 pm

 

5. ANOTHER ALEX said:

I have looked at the Google Earth image of the site cited by Albright and Brannan. You will remember that Google Earth images are not of the present moment but can be quite old. In that image there is the square building but nothing else. The pumping station and secondary buildings were added later, so certainly the site has been in development recently.

It is an unusual building. However the height has not been measured, and may be less than has been supposed. Two storeys, I would say.

Certainly the fact that it has been bulldozed is suspicious. Also the pumping station and water channel. However the water channel is quite narrow and cannot have carried much water. I would doubt enough for cooling a nuclear reactor.

What I find most strange is that if you look wider, there is no fence or entry control to the site, even in the latest imagery. Anyone on the highway next to the Euphrates could drive into the site and look. That is totally untypical of Syrian military sites. There is not even a tent with a barrier.

I would also have expected more buildings for staff, if it was an important facility. But that is less important.

As a conclusion, I would say that there is no evidence that it is a state building, rather than a private enterprise. However I do think it was the building that the Israelis bombed. Having bombed the building, the Israelis could have passed the information to our “independent researchers”. The Israelis no doubt followed the same line of argument: the same dimensions as the North Korean reactor.

As to the true function of the building, who can say?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 8:23 pm

 

6. Alex said:

Exactly Nur … why don’t they show us the whole sequence of sattelite images … including what happened during the bombing.

Oh .. but that took place at night, I forgot.

Why did they have to conduct that mission at night?

And T-Desco … the logical questions you ask are beyond all those NY Times and London Times editors. I wonder why they don’t ask the right questions.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 8:25 pm

 

7. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,

First of all, if you wait about 30 years I will be able to get you the video of the bombing as taken by the Israeli planes. Or maybe we will see them sooner, right after Syria denies officially that it is a nuclear plant to the IAEA.

Second, sattelites move all the time and cannot take pictures of the same place all the time. There are several hours between rotations of a sattelite around the earth. The images are from commercial companies and they photograph the same spot once every several months. So what you ask for does not exist in the public domain. Maybe the US has it, but one can’t be sure.

Third, night or day usually does not matter as there are sattelites that use infra-red and FLIR technology to take pictures. The raid was at night, to limit chance sighting of the planes by observers on the ground. The planes probably came in low to fool the radar but in daylight could have been easily seen from the ground.

T_desco says:
Constructing a Magnox reactor is hardly a secret way to obtain an atomic weapon. It’s like putting up a signpost that says “Please bomb here“. I don’t understand why the Syrians would want to do that.

The Syrians saw what happened with the Iranian nuclear project and thought the following:
1) Most probably the isolated plant will not be detected.
2) If it is detected, Israel will utmost complain to the IAEA.
3) It will take years for the IAEA to do anything by which time we would have built the plant.

Just as you don’t believe Israel now, you would not have believed the Israeli photos that would have been given to IAEA. You would have believed the Asad regime.

What the Syrians didn’t count on was that Israel would attack the plant at such an early stage so their strategy misfired. Asad does not understand how isolated he is.

They Syrians cleaned the area because their options were:
1) Clean the area quickly and appear guilty
2) Leave it and take the chance that it will eventually be inspected.

Option 1 is the least worse one. You still believe that it is not a nuclear plant, so it must be working on some people.

The questions that anyone that doesn’t think it was a reactor needs to answer are:
1) Why did the building need a water pumping question? What other types of building need such a large water pumping facility?
2) Why didn’t the Syrians invite IAEA inspectors right away to make the Israelis look like idiots? Why did they choose to clean the area?
4) Why are the Syrians lying and why does their story keep changing?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 9:12 pm

 

8. ausamaa said:

Brazilian Photos show Syria claening the bombed site!!!!!! How Strang and unexpected of Syrians to do so!

Question: What do people do after someone drops a bomb on their land?

Answer: Keep the site rubble untouched, do not clean it up, else you might be accused of something else!

Question: What should be done to those who bombed the site

Answer 1: Nothing, maybe because they did not know what they bombed!
Answer 2: Ignore it, they failed in what they really “attempted”
Answer 3: Wait and See

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 9:18 pm

 

9. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Question: What do people do after someone drops a bomb on their land?

1) They complain to the UNSC and ask for a condemnation
2) They invite journalists to photograph the area attacked and shame the attacker in front of world public opinion thus earning support for their cause.
3) They retaliate based on the right of self-defense.

The Syrians did none of the above. Why they didn’t do 3 can perhaps be explained. But how about 1 and 2?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 9:24 pm

 

10. ausamaa said:

It seems that is Not a mere Syrian Blogger!! Seems like big Money, not Blogging is the issue!! Jumping the Gun as usual

اختطاف ابنة وكيل الخطوط الجوية السعودية
GMT 21:00:00 2007 الجمعة 26 أكتوبر
بهية مارديني

بهية مارديني من دمشق: اعلنت منظمة ائتلاف السلم والحرية عن اختطاف المواطنة السورية ركانة حمور من أمام منزلها في دمشق، فيما اكدت مصادر رسمية لايلاف ان التحقيقات جارية متوقعة ان الموضوع له علاقة بخلافاتها العائلية حول ميراث والدها وكيل الخطوط الجوية السعودية محمد مطيع حمور.

و حول بيان على الانترنت ربط الأمن باختطافها، اشارت المصادر ان هذا البيان لا اساس له من الصحة، فيما اكدت مصادر متطابقة ان لركانة بعض المقالات على الانترنت الا انها غير منتظمة في الكتابة وعبرت عن اعتقادها بانه لاعلاقة لاختطافها بما تسجله على الانترنت من مقالات تشرح به ملابسات قضيتها. وكانت حمور قد رشحت نفسها لمجلس الشعب في الدورة الماضية مؤخرا الا انها لم تنجح .

وفي 25 اكتوبر وبينما حمور في طريقها الى منزلها مع أطفالها الثلاتة الصغار وعند ترجلها سيارتها الخاصة اعترضها رجال ستة احاطوا بها بعد ان دفعوا أطفالها عنها وتم زجها بعنف الى داخل سيارة مدنية تحمل ارقاما لمدينة طرطوس الساحلية وانطلقت السيارة إلى جهة مجهولة.

يشار الى ان قضية ركانة تتلخص بعدم تسليمها نصيبها من ثروة والدها المتوفي محمد مطيع حمور وكيل الخطوط الجوية السعودية وخاصة بعد زواجها من رجل لم تكن تريده اسرتها ، وكانت قد قالت لايلاف في لقاء منذ سنتين ان الثروة محتكرة من قبل اشخاص تورطوا بسرقة المليارات من المصارف السورية بواسطة التزوير وبتنسيق ممنهج مع أطراف تعود لعائلة ركانة حمور ، بحسب كلامها .

وقالت منظمة ائتلاف السلم والحرية بأن الإختطاف جاء بعد سلسلة مضايقات وتهديدات ووعيد بالتحرش الجنسي ، وان ركانة حمور ارسلت مرات عدة للملك السعودي عبد الله بن عبد العزيز تتحدث عبر رسائل عن واختلاسات طالت وكالة الخطوط الجوية السعودية وتهريب لأموال والدها المتوفي .

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

October 26th, 2007, 9:27 pm

 

11. ausamaa said:

ANOTHERISRAELIGUY

If I was you I will “consider” answer 2, but worry about Answer 3

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 9:29 pm

 

12. ANOTHER ALEX said:

I would like to add to my previous post that the “independent researchers”, Albright and Brannan, are unlikely to have reached their conclusions by themselves.

If they had searched independently, they would have used Google Earth. In this case they would have mentioned the development of the site from square building only, to a complex with trucks, secondary building, pumping station, etc.

Then they would have ordered imagery from Digital Globe, the owner of the best commercial imagery currently available (the images in their report are DG’s). (Such imagery from the Quickbird satellite costs around $18 per square km, so not all Syria is possible). Then having found something, they would have ordered new imagery (you can do it if you have the money).

As they omit, in their report, the first stage of this necessary process, it is probable that they were given the coordinates. Then they ordered, or were given, new imagery, showing the cleaning of the site.

The probable process is that the Israelis bombed a site, justified or not. Information was passed to the “independent researchers”, Albright and Brannan. They ordered the current archive images from Digital Globe, and these images showed the building and pumping station, later than Google Earth. So they ordered new images to be taken, and these showed the building bulldozed.

In the end, you have the notion that the Israelis bombed a building which looked like a North Korean reactor, but without knowing whether it was or not.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 9:41 pm

 

13. idaf said:

Mysterious Syrian Facility at Least 4 Years Old
October 26, 2007 04:35 PM ET | Whitelaw, Kevin |
US News & World Report

It turns out that the alleged Syrian nuclear facility destroyed by an Israeli airstrike last month has been around for a few years. An image taken by GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite on Sept. 16, 2003, and provided to U.S. News shows the suspect facility in an advanced stage of construction.
The entire Syrian saga has been shrouded in secrecy, with the U.S. and Israeli governments refusing to comment about the reported airstrike. But the suspected site was identified earlier this week by David Albright, a former weapons inspector with the Institute for Science and International Security. In the first of two reports, he showed a satellite image from Aug. 10, 2007, showing the completed facility, with a nearby pumping station located on the banks of the Euphrates River. In the 2003 image, construction equipment is visible around the main building, while the pumping station had not yet been constructed.

“We don’t know what happened in between,” Albright says. “There is a real shortage of commercial imagery of that part of Syria.”

In Albright’s second report, he displayed an image taken on Wednesday that shows an empty site, scrubbed clean of any debris.

Even with these satellite images, it remains unclear whether the facility really was a nuclear reactor. It also remains unclear whether North Korea was involved, as some have alleged.

Albright says that he still cannot be certain that the building was a nuclear facility but that it does bear many of the correct hallmarks. As for explaining why the building had been around for four years before the Israelis decided to destroy it, he suggests that perhaps “it takes a while to build a reactor in a place like Syria.”

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 10:41 pm

 

14. fadal said:

wait and see…..syria acts like a kid…what a shame

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 10:47 pm

 

15. T said:

Magic from Photo shop anyone? Or the old fashioned airbrush? And were these photos from Syria or Niger or where? considering that Bush was going to have a US cargo plane repainted w/ UN logo in hopes that Saddam would shoot it down (providing invasion pretext in 2003) what forgery is next? All thats missing here are the aluminum tubes, Niger yellowcake and the mushroom cloud.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 11:00 pm

 

16. IsraeliGuy said:

I’m wondering what will be the Syrian response if the IAEA contacts them and asks for their permission to send a team of experts to examine the site.

In such a case, what will the Syrians do in your opinion?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 11:18 pm

 

17. T said:

The Syrians already invited them in- and that is from the Syrian Ambassador himself

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 11:20 pm

 

18. T said:

to AnotherIsraeliGuy: What do people do after another country bombs them- Well lets look at Israel’s history in Jenin..
1.Why didnt Israel allow the UN or journalists into Jenin after they razed that compound? I was there and it was a pretty outrageous attack worthy of full inspection.
2. Wasnt Albright the guy behind the Iraq satt photos WMD mess? And he is still credible?
3. Where is the “nuclear material” the London Times claimed was confiscated by IDF ground commandos from the site?
First an attack on Hezbollah missiles, then an Aleppo “Iranian chemical explosion” given as the casus belli, then the cement box delivery of N Korea nukes, then the Syrian Ambassador “admitting” it was a nuke site via “being overheard” by Israeli officials at the UN. If this was a court of law, these testimonies would rank right up there w/ the Hariri killing witnesses used to implicate Syria. And speaking of Hariri- what you wont see in the American press…

More Israeli Truthtelling–
The Daily Star Thursday, October 25, 2007
Hawi’s family sues Mossad for assassination
by Lebanon Daily Star staff

BEIRUT: The family of slain former Lebanese Communist Party leader Georges Hawi announced on Wednesday that it had filed a lawsuit against Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency accusing it of plotting his assassination on June 21, 2005.

Speaking during a news conference at the Bristol Hotel, Hawi’s step-son, Raffy Madayan, lashed out at the Lebanese authorities for “overlooking the issue of political assassinations and focusing on the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri solely.”

Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in his latest speech, accused Israel of plotting the string of political assassinations which took place over the past few years; the March 14 Forces, meanwhile, holds Syria responsible.
———————————————————
“By Way of Deception, Thou Shalt Do War” –isnt that the motto?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 26th, 2007, 11:40 pm

 

19. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

T,

I think you are new here and don’t know about an important rule on this forum: Two wrongs don’t make a right. You can criticize Israel as much as you want, but it won’t make what Syria does right.

Of course journalists were in Jenin after the Israeli attack. But you are comparing apples to oranges. You need to pick an example in which Israel is attacked.

If you want to be taken seriously you can begin by answering some of the questions I posed:
1) Why did the building need a water pumping station? What other types of building need such a large water pumping facility?
2) Why didn’t the Syrians invite IAEA inspectors right away to make the Israelis look like idiots? Why did they choose to clean the area?
3) Why are the Syrians lying and why does their story keep changing?

And the way you answer the questions is not by criticizing Israel. The response to question 1 is not that the building needed a pumping station because Israel kills Palestinians. That is not a response, it is a deflection. We know you don’t like Israel and you think it is really bad. Now, having got that out of the way, please give concrete answers.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 12:48 am

 

20. ugarit said:

The image on the right looks like pre-construction and not post destruction. “wiped clean since August,” Why mention August when the attack was in September?

The whole things smells like a setup.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 1:00 am

 

21. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Because the picture on the left was taken in August.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 1:07 am

 

22. T said:

Let me ask you a few questions as well, then we can both answer–
You forget something- “what Syria did?” Syria did nothing. It was Israel that launched an unprovoked attack on another sovereign country in violation of international law based on changing, unsubstantiated charges. All the circumstantial evidence and weight of western media-filtered allegations is not international court, IAEA adherence or criminal investigations. And with US-Israeli history of violations in this area- attention must be paid.
1. What other types of industrial buildings need pumping facilities? Most industrial Factories have pumping
stations.
2. Why didnt Israel go to the IAEA as per international law with their claims to make Syria look like idiots instead of just launching a unilateral bombing act of war? Why shouldnt they clean the area? If it is a nuke site, those radiactive particles remain in the soil for years and can be traced.
3. Both sides are changing the story constantly, esp the perpetrators (the ones who bombed first). see prior post: Israeli changing reasons for first IDF strike–
First an attack on Hezbollah missiles, then an Aleppo “Iranian chemical explosion” given as the casus belli, then the cement box delivery of N Korea nukes, then the Syrian Ambassador “admitting” it was a nuke site via “being overheard” by Israeli officials at the UN (later proved false). There are more allegations that changed as the need arose, but section is limited.
I am not sure who you are that you set yourself up as the arbiter of Joshua’s site rules and who is to be “taken seriously”…
But it is Israel who aggressed first and must prove and give evidence and answer questions, not the one it attacked. That is like asking the victim to defend against why it shouldnt have been murdered. Give us the incontrovertible evidence and not just doctored photos, media leaks and innuendo. Everything else is just psywar.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 1:39 am

 

23. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

T,

1. Almost all industrial sites do not need such a large pumping stations. You are just plain wrong.
2. As i wrote above, if Israel would have gone to the IAEA nothing would have happened.
3. Israel has not changed anything it said about the attack because it has not said anything. You are confused about this issue. You are mistaking what newspapers say with an official Israeli statement.

If you want Israel to answer questions, then invite journalists to the site and show that it is not a nuclear facility. Then Israel will be in an uncomfortable situation. In addition, if Syria has complaints against Israel, it should go to the UN. But Syria is doing none of these things. Which basically means that it admits guilt.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 1:49 am

 

24. T said:

The foundation of your discourse is way off. When an aggression is committed (unjustified first strike no matter who did it, in this case Israel) it is the aggressor who is on trial, not the aggressed against.
The aggressor has to justify the crime, not the one it attacked. Or was Israel once again the victim here?

You asked why Syria didnt complain to the UN? Well if Israel had suspicions why didnt it go to the UN? Always a double standard for Israel to the advantage of itself. Why didnt you go to the IAEA? Yet you impose that on others.
“The IAEA would have done nothing” sure, like with Iraq? IAEA “did nothing” in Iraq because there were no WMDs.
What you really mean is that the IAEA wasnt going to support Israel’s agenda and say Syria had nukes if it didnt.
And there was an offical statement- conveniently forgotten as the spywar changed shape. Financial Times of Sept 7, 07 article by Guy Dinmore- Shimon Peres claimed the bombing was because “Iran wanted to claim religious hegemony across the region…” and “We will stop those who support terror.”
Neat trick of psywar- the perps leak to the press and let them paint the pictures, sling the innuendo, divert attention and take the fall etc. Its called “plausible deniability”. That is the Mossad game on this one too I am afraid. No dice.
Then be consistent and label the charges against Syria by the same rules- only as media speculation and nothing official.
When you let the IAEA inspectors and international journalists into Dimona to prove your case, then preach to the world about free access. Israel does none of these things… Is not having them in, an Israeli admission of guilt? Don’t expect from others what you wont submit to yourself.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 2:29 am

 

25. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

T,

You are inventing things. Here is exactly what Peres said in the FT article:
Peres warns of Iranian ambitions

By Guy Dinmore in Cernobbio, Italy
Friday Sep 7 2007 17:40
Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, on Friday accused Iran of seeking to impose “religious hegemony” across the Middle East and urged the international community to take the “necessary steps” to stop the Islamic republic building a nuclear weapon.

“If bombs and terror meet, the world will be ungovernable,” Mr Peres, on his first foreign tour as president, told reporters at the Ambrosetti forum on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como. Iran’s ambitions were to govern the region “by their religion only”, he said.

The full article: http://us.ft.com/ftgateway/superpage.ft?news_id=fto090720071754532252&page=1

He said NOTHING about the bombing in Syria.

Again you break the rules and use the two wrongs make a right argument. Alex will be mad at you. You say:
“When you let the IAEA inspectors and international journalists into Dimona to prove your case, then preach to the world about free access.”

However, you got things wrong. Israel has never signed the NPT so has no obligation to let IAEA inspections. For some reason Syria did decide to sign and therefore are held to their signature.

You know what, the Mossad tricked North Korea to sell plans for a nuclear facility to Syria so that Israel can then bomb it and make Syria look stupid. You see, I am one step ahead of you in the conspiracy game, and we both agree that the Mossad is at fault. My version is better though because when it is confirmed that Israel did bomb a nuclear site, it is still the Mossad’s fault. So perhaps you should switch to my version now and avoid the embarassment later.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 4:13 am

 
 

27. ausamaa said:

Shimon Peres Said: “If bombs and terror meet, the world will be ungovernable,” Mr Peres, on his first foreign tour as president, told reporters at the Ambrosetti forum on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como.

Was that a reference to Dimona Nuclear Reactor, Shtern and Irgun?

I bet that he was subconciously refering to ISRAEL.

Look around and you will see that his words ARE THE REALITY the Middle East have been living in since YEARS before Khumaini and Al Baath came to power.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 5:24 am

 

28. T said:

Its breaking the rules when you dont win. Now comes the whine, the ‘poor persecuted Israeli’ act. Not interested. Israel must follow international law like everyone else. Maybe Syria should resign from NPT so they can break the law like Israel w/ impunity and write their own rules. (But Syria doesnt have the luxury of then hiding behind religion, a most valuable weapon.) Or resort to the “its all just a conspiracy theory” defamation with Israel unfairly persecuted. Also no sale.
International law prohibits a lone rogue state, any state- Israel or Syria or USA from acting as judge, jury and executioner in violating another state’s sovereignty. And “proving” it AFTER an act of war doesnt fly.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 5:39 am

 

29. t_desco said:

AIG,

nice to actually have a discussion!

You say:

“Just as you don’t believe Israel now, you would not have believed the Israeli photos that would have been given to IAEA. You would have believed the Asad regime.”

I don’t know if this is addressed to me, in that case you are wrong, but perhaps it is a more general “you all”?

AIG: “The Syrians saw what happened with the Iranian nuclear project”.

The US News article posted by Idaf and the New York Times article posted by you make clear that the Syrian project is probably much older.

AIG: “1) Most probably the isolated plant will not be detected.”

That would be an extremely stupid assumption by the Syrians. To quote from the NY Times article:

““It’s uncommon to see such activity in the middle of nowhere,” he said, adding that it was sufficiently unusual to have worried American intelligence officials. “I’d have put it on my suspect site list and kept watching,” he said.

The senior intelligence official said that American spy satellites and analysts had, in fact, watched the site for years.

“It was noticed, without knowing what it was,” the official said. “You revisit every so often, but it was not a high priority. You see things that raise the flag and you know you have to keep looking. It was a case of watching it evolve.””

AIG: “2) If it is detected, Israel will utmost complain to the IAEA.
3) It will take years for the IAEA to do anything by which time we would have built the plant.”

And that would be another extremely stupid assumptions by the Syrians.

A Yongbyon type reactor would have to run for one year to produce enough plutonium for one bomb, and then the fuel would still have to be reprocessed to extract weapons-grade plutonium. If there are doubts about the unfinished project, these doubts would have disappeared once the reactor was up and running.

In that case, the release of thermal energy and the emissions of certain radioactive isotopes could be detected. Fuel reprocession would lead to even greater emissions.

ANOTHER ALEX is making good points. Of course, the lack of visible security/anti-aircraft batteries could have been a vain attempt to keep a low profile.

Unfortunately, the fact that the decision to build a Magnox reactor (and get away with it) would look rather foolish does not automatically mean that it wasn’t made, leading to the obvious question: How rational is the Syrian leadership in its decision-making?

This has obvious repercussions for other cases (Hariri, Fatah al-Islam).

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 11:50 am

 

30. t_desco said:

AIG,

nice to actually have a discussion!

You say:

“Just as you don’t believe Israel now, you would not have believed the Israeli photos that would have been given to IAEA. You would have believed the Asad regime.”

I don’t know if this is addressed to me, in that case you are wrong, but perhaps it is a more general “you all”?

AIG: “The Syrians saw what happened with the Iranian nuclear project”.

The US News article posted by Idaf and the New York Times article posted by you make clear that the Syrian project is probably much older.

AIG: “1) Most probably the isolated plant will not be detected.”

That would be an extremely stupid assumption by the Syrians. To quote from the NY Times article:

““It’s uncommon to see such activity in the middle of nowhere,” he said, adding that it was sufficiently unusual to have worried American intelligence officials. “I’d have put it on my suspect site list and kept watching,” he said.

The senior intelligence official said that American spy satellites and analysts had, in fact, watched the site for years.

“It was noticed, without knowing what it was,” the official said. “You revisit every so often, but it was not a high priority. You see things that raise the flag and you know you have to keep looking. It was a case of watching it evolve.””

AIG: “2) If it is detected, Israel will utmost complain to the IAEA.
3) It will take years for the IAEA to do anything by which time we would have built the plant.”

And that would be another extremely stupid assumption by the Syrians.

A Yongbyon type reactor would have to run for one year to produce enough plutonium for one bomb, and then the fuel would still have to be reprocessed to extract weapons-grade plutonium. If there are doubts about the unfinished project, these doubts would have disappeared once the reactor was up and running.

In that case, the release of thermal energy and the emissions of certain radioactive isotopes could be detected. Fuel reprocession would lead to even greater emissions.

ANOTHER ALEX is making good points. Of course, the lack of visible security/anti-aircraft batteries could have been a vain attempt to keep a low profile.

Unfortunately, the fact that the decision to build a Magnox reactor (and get away with it) would look rather foolish does not automatically mean that it wasn’t made, leading to the obvious question: How rational is the Syrian leadership in its decision-making?

This has obvious repercussions for other cases (Hariri, Fatah al-Islam).

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 11:50 am

 

31. CWW said:

T:

You repeatedly invoke international law and claim that Israel has, in this instance, violated it. Although, in terms of international law, Israel and Syria are at war. Within that framework, would bombing a military facility in Syria really be “aggression?”

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 1:55 pm

 

32. ugarit said:

“Because the picture on the left was taken in August.” and you know this how?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 3:31 pm

 

33. ausamaa said:

CWW

You are 100% right except for the tiny fact that a cease fire agreement between Syria and Israel has been in place since 1974. Ha Ha Ha….

I hope you extend the same logic to Hizbullah, Israel is at War with Lebanon, and only an “understanding” and not a Cease Fire agreement govern the border, so that Great Israel can stop moaning about the “aggression” practiced against it by little Hizbullah who is trying to liberate occupied Lebanese Land and Prisoners.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 4:32 pm

 

34. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Ugarit,
Because it says so in the article. Just read it slowly.

T_Desco,

The Syrians acted quite rationally it seems. They started building slowly, and when no one complained they just continued. It looks like the CIA dropped the ball on this one also. My 1 should have been:
1) Most probably the plant will not be identified as a nuclear plant.

I think in the end, intelligence other than sattelite imagery was required and that is what Israel obtained.

I stand behind 2 and 3. I think the Syrians underestimated the Israeli determination in this case and also underestimated their isolation.

Regimes make many mistakes not because they are irrational or stupid, but because they have incomplete information and make assumptions about others that are not correct. Making decision requires predicting how others will act in the future in response to your actions. That is of course very difficult.

Saddam made the mistake of attacking Kuwait and Bashar made the mistake of building a nuclear site. They were both counting on the international community to react differently than it did and were mistaken.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 5:07 pm

 

35. Friend in America said:

T – An an occasional commentator on this site I am pleased to read your comments and hope you will have more. This is one of the best sites in the ME. As an analyst my attention has been on the fragile peace in the ME, and I search for views, preferably reasoned opinions, from all points of view. Blogs have limitations. On this and other blogs commentators are dealing only with information they can gather, offer opinions and far too often engage in accusations and personal attacks that makes respectful dialogue difficult. So be it with all blogs. I hope we all can reduce that problem here. There also are occasions when good discusions do occur. There are very good people on this blog. With the desire for reasoned and respectful discussion I invite your opinion and comments on 2 subjects in the preceeding blogs, if you wish.

1. I and others have been puzzled why Syria did not jump on the opportunity to show the world the target bombed was an insignicant structure (military facility or empty warehouse or something else but a nuclear reactor in construction). If that is what it was, it would have been so easy to put Israel on the defensive in the international scene. But the news from outside Syria identified the site as a reactor under construction and that conclusion now has wide acceptance. Syria’s decision not to disclose to international satisfaction what was at the site was Syria’s perogative – Syria is under no obligation to disclose. But, and this is where silence creates its own problem, the silence allows a fair inference that Isreal’s claim is correct. Consider another inference: Syria did not bring this incident to the U.N. Security Council for a hearing. It merely circulated its report with no request for a Security Council for any action. Here was a wonderful opportunity to put Israel in the spot in the world scene if the target was insignificant. Conversely, not a good idea if the activity was something it did not wish to disclose to the world. Syria has no obligation to bring this before the Security Council, I agree, but when it does not others outside the ME are inclined to accept the inference – not as proven fact but supplemental in drawing conclusions.
2. There have been discussions over the past 2 decades in capitals and academic institutions around the world on when does “an act of aggression” become “a self defense first strike.” Some have argued it changes when the purported aggressor country atacks something that presents a clear and present danger to the security of the attacking country (note this conclusion invites a second question – how “present” must the danger be). Is there ever an occasion when a first strike is an act in self defense and if so under what circumstances?

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 5:36 pm

 

36. ugarit said:

“Because it says so in the article. Just read it slowly.” Oh, so it must true!

Please re-read:

“Two photos, taken Wednesday from space by rival companies, show the site near the Euphrates River to have been wiped clean since August, when imagery showed a tall square building there measuring about 150 feet on a side.”

Wiped clean since August! The alleged attack was in September!

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 6:18 pm

 

37. Alex said:

T-Desco

You asked the most relevant question:

Unfortunately, the fact that the decision to build a Magnox reactor (and get away with it) would look rather foolish does not automatically mean that it wasn’t made, leading to the obvious question: How rational is the Syrian leadership in its decision-making?

This has obvious repercussions for other cases (Hariri, Fatah al-Islam).

For the past two years, the adversaries of the Syrian regime tried to explain to us that although their daily new accusations most often do not make sense … since the Syrian regime is ruthless and utterly irrational … everything is possible!

Just like magic! … it works.

To your good question, I will give you the Rolls Royce of answers. When automotive journalists used to ask Rolls Royce about the horse power specs of their engines, the company had a standard answer: “it has sufficient power”

The Syrian regime is sufficiently rational not to kill popular Christian Lebanese figures the day before the UNSC is scheduled to meet and discuss possible sanctions on Syria.

Sufficiently rational not to start in 2003 building a nuclear weapons compound next to the new neighbors … the Americans who were sending inspectors and falsifying information in order to invade Iraq, and … Syria next.

Sufficiently rational not to talk about Lebanon for the past few months in order to not give them an easy way of claiming that Lebanon could not elect a new president because Syria interfered.

(But of course they will still try to blame it all on Syria even though THEY are the ones who are sending their diplomats and politicians everyday to meet and advice the Lebanese)

Sufficiently rational to have succeeded where ALL OF THEM COMBINED failed … in successfully managing Lebanon as a functional country.

Sufficiently rational to navigate for years and years through hostile territories … coming under American, Israeli, Saudi, French, British fire… the Assads survived 8 years of Reagan administration determined to destroy them, survived many years of Chirac and Bush Jr. and the ultra powerful Prince Bandar all coordinating on a continuous basis to “change the Syrian regime” …

Sufficiently rational to not go to war with turkey in 1998 and not to get drawn into a military confrontation with Israel and the Neocons this year.

And THEY want to claim that the Syrians are foolish … reckless.

Maybe Syria should have learned lessons from their wise decisions … like backing Saddam in the 80’s with weapons, money and political support… Like betting on the road map, the oslo agreement and other failed Syria-less peace initiatives which led to more bloodshed and chaos… or like deciding to fire and insult all the Baathists and the army members in Iraq … thus creating millions of very unhappy Iraqi men… or like those who invaded Lebanon twice … creating Hizbollah in the first invasion, and turning Hizbollah into stronger heroes of the Arab world during the second invasion.

Everyone makes mistakes occasionally … but when it comes to strategic blunders … if we stick to facts, and not to accusations, Syria can not compete with the other geniuses… not in the number of mistakes, nor in their bloody results.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 6:57 pm

 

38. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Ugarit,

What is your problem? What you quote clearly says that in August pictures showed a tall building. The attack was Sept 6 and pictures taken after that show a clean site. What is after the comma “when imagery showed…” modifies August (and says that this is when the first pictures were taken).

So the timeline:
1) Pictures taken in August
2) Sept 6 attack
3) New pictures taken now show clean site.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 6:57 pm

 

39. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
The Syrians were not sufficiently smart to bring journalists to the site right after the attack and let them see that it is not a nuclear plant. Or more probably smart enough not to do it because it is a nuclear plant so it is better to wipe out all the evidence as they just did.

Nobody is saying the Syrian regime is stupid or irrational. It does the right things to stay in power, and getting a nuclear weapon would have helped that a lot as well as evened the strageic field with Israel. But in any human action that depends on the reaction of others, risk is inherent. Asad bet that the Israelis would not act in a determined manner. He bet incorrectly. It was not a mistake but a calculated bet on his part that didn’t pay off. Same for the Hariri murder. He was not counting on the determined US reaction. You can’t win them all.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 7:05 pm

 

40. Friend in America said:

I think the information in the article brings closure on what was at the site. But there are pieces in this puzzle remaining to be disclosed:

1. A photo of the site after the attack. Didn’t we see that here in early September? Could someone put it back on again?
2. What is the conclusion to the bags of cement story?
3. Where was the housing for the workers?
4. Was there a fence? Was a fence deemed not necessary since it was in such a remore desert location?
5. Was the commando strike at the site before or after the air strike? What did they bring back?
6. What are the North Korean engineers and diplomats doing in Damascus now?
7. Who was paying for this project? Very important. Follow the money. Follow the money.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 7:06 pm

 

41. Alex said:

AIG,

While you are not claiming that the regime is stupid, many Lebanese and Saudi journalists have been making that claim for years.

Even Hafez Assad .. they used to think they can outsmart him the first few years they dealt with him. They had many popular jokes about his stupidity… late 70’s.

Back to the alleged Syrian role in the Nuclear weapons program.

Bringing journalists to the site could have been a good move if this was a civilian site … you know that the Syrians love to take foreign journalists to Quneitra which the Israelis destroyed in 1973. Israel hitting civilian targets would get Syria a lot of sympathy.

But this looks like a long-range missiles assembly building site. if you look at the roads leading nowhere out of the destroyed square building … those small roads take you to the nearby hills to what looks like hidden missile launch pads. This could be one of the many places Syria assembles, modifies, or stores its missiles. Don’t expect the Syrians to take journalists on a tour of this sample of its many such missiles compounds. And don’t expect them to tell you exactly what it was.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 8:24 pm

 

42. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,

What I believe you see in the hills is the parking lots for the heavy equipment used in the site. That is why the roads lead there. Missiles are stored underground and do not need tall buildings to assemble. They are assembeled lying down. In addition, the Syrians would be stupid to store all their missiles in one facility and be dependent on roads that go to launching sites that could easily be bombed. The Syrians do not need to transport their missiles before firing. They just need to take them out of the bunkers and fire. Anything else, would play into Israel’s hands.

Also, the Syrians could easily have removed the interior of the plant and all the missiles there and invited journalist. An empty factory looks very different from a nuclear plant. They could easily have presented this as an empty warehouse.

And last but not least, a missile factory does not need the large pumping station. Any story that does not explain it, is not credible.

In any case I am happy to see that you have changed your mind and are not any more in the camp of those that are saying that nothing of significance was hit. As you remember, that was the initial position and still is the position of quite a few people on this blog. Hopefully, you will see the full light soon 🙂

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 8:45 pm

 

43. Alex said:

AIG,

Actually I did not change my position.

My first and last comment on this “mission” was and is:

“If Israel hit anything, it was not dramatic”

And I explained to Israeliguy what I meant .. that it will not change anything in a dramatic way … the balance of power will not change … Syria’s allies in Lebanon will not be scared and will not let the M14 group dictate their choice for president, Syria’s position on the return of the Golan will not change …

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 8:58 pm

 

44. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
Thanks for the clarification. According to you even a war between Israel and Syria would not be dramatic as it would not change the Syrian opinion that the Golan belongs to Syria.

I think that the results are quite dramatic. By hitting the nuclear plant Israel pushed back Syrian nuclear plans for many years and this certainly changed the balance of power. The fact that Israel could attack Syria and not have any plane shot down demonstrates Israel’s absolute air superiority and changes the balance of power. The fact that Iran and Syria did not retaliate after a hit against such a strategic target changes the balance of power and deterence.

On another somewhat related note, Imad Moustapha is really not helping Syria:
http://religion-and-policy.blogspot.com/2007/10/hes-kidding-right.html

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 27th, 2007, 9:27 pm

 

45. T said:

Mr. America, This alleged ‘nuclear plant’ is in such infancy that there is widespread uncertainty as to what it even is… estimated 10, 20yrs? away from completion? That kind of lead time and vagueness does not legally constitute “an imminent threat” justifying first strike under intl law. And the aggressor had better have a solid case before conducting more trigger happy bombing- not doctored photos, aluminum tubes etc. We have already been through the fake “dodgy dossier” and the notorious “45 minutes” timeframe Iraq allegedly had to deploy WMDs, resulting in a million people dead.
The Syrian site was a military site as has long been known, and like any country it doesnt want its sovereignty breached and foreignors snooping around for national security reasons. Maybe the Russians and Iranians are pressuring them to keep quiet.

If the IAEA refuses to do its job and inspect, why not have another Ynet reporter sneak in w/ a radiation detector and end all this speculation? If nothing else, maybe he’ll find a cache of American-made DU fallout blown over from Iraq, and Israel can bomb Tennessee too?
The bottom line is, if guilty- prove it. The region is already on edge & the stakes are too high to let a couple of bully nations like US-Israel unilaterally be judge, jury and executioner.

And again on the wide inferences and circumstantial evidence re; Syria’s Hariri killings. I was at the funeral of George Hawi when the Lebanese and Hawi’s family/friends/colleagues were all screaming that Syria was guilty. Wide inferences and guilty appearances dont prove guilt. Facts do. But the slurs and innuendo psyops did get the Syrian troops out of Lebanon for Israel didnt it?
The Daily Star Thursday, October 25, 2007
Hawi’s family sues Mossad for assassination by Lebanon Daily Star staff

BEIRUT: The family of slain former Lebanese Communist Party leader Georges Hawi announced on Wednesday that it had filed a lawsuit against Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency accusing it of plotting his assassination on June 21, 2005.

Speaking during a news conference at the Bristol Hotel, Hawi’s step-son, Raffy Madayan, lashed out at the Lebanese authorities for “overlooking the issue of political assassinations and focusing on the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri solely.”

DEBKAfile – We start where the media stop
Advanced Russian Air Defense Missile Cannot Protect Syrian and Iranian Skies

September 7, 2007, 1:16 PM (GMT+02:00)

Russian-made Pantsyr S1 fire control and radar systems

DEBKAfile’s military experts conclude from the way Damascus described the episode Wednesday, Sept. 6, that the Pantsyr-S1E missiles, purchased from Russia to repel air assailants, failed to down the Israeli jets accused of penetrating northern Syrian airspace from the Mediterranean the night before.

The new Pantsyr missiles therefore leave Syrian and Iranian airspace vulnerable to hostile intrusion.

The Israeli plane or planes were described by a Syrian military spokesman as “forced to leave by Syrian air defense fire after dropping ammunition over deserted areas without causing casualties.” He warned “the Israeli enemy against repeating its aggressive action” and said his government reserved the right to respond in an appropriate manner.

Western intelligence circles stress that information on Russian missile consignments to Syria or Iran is vital to any US calculation of whether to attack Iran over its nuclear program. They assume that the “absolute jamming immunity” which the Russian manufactures promised for the improved Pantsyr missiles was immobilized by superior electronic capabilities exercised by the jets before they were “forced to leave.”

Syria took delivery in mid-August of 10 batteries of sophisticated Russian Pantsyr-S1E Air Defense Missile fire control systems with advanced radar, those sources report. They have just been installed in Syria.

Understanding that the Pantsyr-S1E had failed in its mission to bring down trespassing aircraft, Moscow hastened Thursday, Sept 6, to officially deny selling these systems to Syria or Iran and called on Israel to respect international law. This was diplomatic-speak for a warning against attacking the Russian-made missiles batteries stations where Russian instructors are working alongside Syrian teams.

Western intelligence circles maintain that it is vital for the US and Israel to establish the location and gauge the effectiveness of Pantsyr-S1E air defenses in Syrian and Iranian hands, as well as discovering how many each received.

They estimate that at least three or four batteries of the first batch of ten were shipped to Iran to boost its air defense arsenal; another 50 are thought to be on the way, of which Syria will keep 36.

The purported Israeli air force flights over the Pantsyr-S1E site established that the new Russian missiles, activated for the first time in the Middle East, are effective and dangerous but can be disarmed. Western military sources attribute to those Israeli or other air force planes superior electronics for jamming the Russian missile systems, but stress nonetheless that they were extremely lucky to get away unharmed, or at worst, with damage minor enough for a safe return to base.

The courage, daring and operational skills of the air crews must have been exceptional. They would have needed to spend enough time in hostile Syrian air space to execute several passes at varying altitudes under fire in order to test the Pantsyr-S1E responses. Their success demonstrated to Damascus and Tehran that their expensive new Russian anti-air system leaves them vulnerable.

Washington like Jerusalem withheld comment in the immediate aftermath of the episode. After its original disclosure, Damascus too is holding silent. Western intelligence sources believe the Syrians in consultation with the Russians and Tehran are weighing action to gain further media mileage from the incident. They may decide to exhibit some of the “ammunition” dropped by the Israeli aircraft as proof of Israel’s contempt for international law. A military response may come next.

Pantsir-S1 or Panzir (“Shell” in English) is a short-range, mobile air defense system, combining two 30mm anti-aircraft guns and 12 surface-to-air missiles which can fire on the move. It can simultaneously engage two separate targets at 12 targets per minute, ranging from fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, ballistic and cruise missiles, precision-guided munitions and unmanned air vehicles. It can also engage light-armored ground targets.

The Pantsyr S1 short-range air defense system is designed to provide point defense of key military and industrial facilities and air defense support for military units during air and ground operations.

The integrated missile and gun armament creates an uninterrupted engagement zone of 18 to 20 km in range and of up to 10 km in altitude. Immunity to jamming is promised via a common multimode and multi-spectral radar and optical control system. The combined missile and artillery capability makes the Russian system the most advanced air defense system in the world. Syria and Iran believe it provides the best possible protection against American or Israeli air and missile attack. Stationed in al Hamma, at the meeting point of the Syrian-Jordanian and Israeli borders, the missile’s detection range of 30 km takes in all of Israel’s northern air force bases.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 28th, 2007, 9:25 am

 

46. T said:

Mr. America, This alleged ‘nuclear plant’ is in such infancy that there is widespread uncertainty as to what it even is… estimated 10, 20yrs? away from completion? That kind of lead time and vagueness does not legally constitute “an imminent threat” justifying first strike under intl law. And the aggressor better have a solid case before conducting more trigger happy bombing- not doctored photos, aluminum tubes etc. We have already been through the fake “dodgy dossier” and the notorious “45 minutes” timeframe Iraq allegedly had to deploy WMDs. Result of that psyops? A million dead Iraqis, and some very satisfied neocons.
The Syrian site was a military site as is already known, and like any country it doesnt want its sovereignty breached and foreignors snooping around for national security reasons. Maybe the Russians are pressuring them to keep quiet- and the Iranians.

If the IAEA refuses to do its job and inspect, why not have that Ynet reporter sneak in w/ a radiation detector and end all this speculation? If nothing else, maybe he’ll find a cache of American-made DU fallout blown over from Iraq. Then Israel can bomb Tennessee too?
The bottom line is, if a nation is guilty- prove it. The stakes are far too high to let a couple of bully nations like US-Israel unilaterally be judge, jury and executioner.

And again on the assumptions re; Syria behind Hariri killings. I was at the funeral of George Hawi when the Lebanese and some of Hawi’s family/friends/colleagues were screaming about Syria’s guilt. Circumstantial evidence isnt always what it seems. But the wide inferences did get the Syrian troops out of Lebanon for Israel didnt it? It would be great to know what is behind this change of mind–
The Daily Star Thursday, October 25, 2007
Hawi’s family sues Mossad for assassination by Lebanon Daily Star staff

BEIRUT: The family of slain former Lebanese Communist Party leader Georges Hawi announced on Wednesday that it had filed a lawsuit against Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency accusing it of plotting his assassination on June 21, 2005.

Speaking during a news conference at the Bristol Hotel, Hawi’s step-son, Raffy Madayan, lashed out at the Lebanese authorities for “overlooking the issue of political assassinations and focusing on the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri solely.”

DEBKAfile – We start where the media stop
Advanced Russian Air Defense Missile Cannot Protect Syrian and Iranian Skies

September 7, 2007, 1:16 PM (GMT+02:00)

Russian-made Pantsyr S1 fire control and radar systems

DEBKAfile’s military experts conclude from the way Damascus described the episode Wednesday, Sept. 6, that the Pantsyr-S1E missiles, purchased from Russia to repel air assailants, failed to down the Israeli jets accused of penetrating northern Syrian airspace from the Mediterranean the night before.

The new Pantsyr missiles therefore leave Syrian and Iranian airspace vulnerable to hostile intrusion.

The Israeli plane or planes were described by a Syrian military spokesman as “forced to leave by Syrian air defense fire after dropping ammunition over deserted areas without causing casualties.” He warned “the Israeli enemy against repeating its aggressive action” and said his government reserved the right to respond in an appropriate manner.

Western intelligence circles stress that information on Russian missile consignments to Syria or Iran is vital to any US calculation of whether to attack Iran over its nuclear program. They assume that the “absolute jamming immunity” which the Russian manufactures promised for the improved Pantsyr missiles was immobilized by superior electronic capabilities exercised by the jets before they were “forced to leave.”

Syria took delivery in mid-August of 10 batteries of sophisticated Russian Pantsyr-S1E Air Defense Missile fire control systems with advanced radar, those sources report. They have just been installed in Syria.

Understanding that the Pantsyr-S1E had failed in its mission to bring down trespassing aircraft, Moscow hastened Thursday, Sept 6, to officially deny selling these systems to Syria or Iran and called on Israel to respect international law. This was diplomatic-speak for a warning against attacking the Russian-made missiles batteries stations where Russian instructors are working alongside Syrian teams.

Western intelligence circles maintain that it is vital for the US and Israel to establish the location and gauge the effectiveness of Pantsyr-S1E air defenses in Syrian and Iranian hands, as well as discovering how many each received.

They estimate that at least three or four batteries of the first batch of ten were shipped to Iran to boost its air defense arsenal; another 50 are thought to be on the way, of which Syria will keep 36.

The purported Israeli air force flights over the Pantsyr-S1E site established that the new Russian missiles, activated for the first time in the Middle East, are effective and dangerous but can be disarmed. Western military sources attribute to those Israeli or other air force planes superior electronics for jamming the Russian missile systems, but stress nonetheless that they were extremely lucky to get away unharmed, or at worst, with damage minor enough for a safe return to base.

The courage, daring and operational skills of the air crews must have been exceptional. They would have needed to spend enough time in hostile Syrian air space to execute several passes at varying altitudes under fire in order to test the Pantsyr-S1E responses. Their success demonstrated to Damascus and Tehran that their expensive new Russian anti-air system leaves them vulnerable.

Washington like Jerusalem withheld comment in the immediate aftermath of the episode. After its original disclosure, Damascus too is holding silent. Western intelligence sources believe the Syrians in consultation with the Russians and Tehran are weighing action to gain further media mileage from the incident. They may decide to exhibit some of the “ammunition” dropped by the Israeli aircraft as proof of Israel’s contempt for international law. A military response may come next.

Pantsir-S1 or Panzir (“Shell” in English) is a short-range, mobile air defense system, combining two 30mm anti-aircraft guns and 12 surface-to-air missiles which can fire on the move. It can simultaneously engage two separate targets at 12 targets per minute, ranging from fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, ballistic and cruise missiles, precision-guided munitions and unmanned air vehicles. It can also engage light-armored ground targets.

The Pantsyr S1 short-range air defense system is designed to provide point defense of key military and industrial facilities and air defense support for military units during air and ground operations.

The integrated missile and gun armament creates an uninterrupted engagement zone of 18 to 20 km in range and of up to 10 km in altitude. Immunity to jamming is promised via a common multimode and multi-spectral radar and optical control system. The combined missile and artillery capability makes the Russian system the most advanced air defense system in the world. Syria and Iran believe it provides the best possible protection against American or Israeli air and missile attack. Stationed in al Hamma, at the meeting point of the Syrian-Jordanian and Israeli borders, the missile’s detection range of 30 km takes in all of Israel’s northern air force bases.

Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

October 28th, 2007, 11:09 am

 

Post a comment