Ongoing news about the Israeli strike on the Syrian Nuclear facilities

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Ongoing news about the Israeli strike on the Syrian Nuclear facilities

This thread covers some of the issues arising from Israels attack on the Syrian buildings.

All that bluster and bravado from behind the protection of the latest russian military defences may have suddenly evaporated since Israel seemed to easily fly its planes into Syria and attack the supposed North Korean Nuclear site.

Guess who feels like a rabbit in the sights :sh:sh

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Information coming out of Iran indicates that the military there is very dismayed at how ineffective new Russian anti-aircraft systems were during the Israeli September 6th air strike on a Syrian weapons development facility near the Iraqi border.

Syria and Iran have both bought billions of dollars worth of the latest Russian anti-aircraft missile systems. Apparently the Israelis were able to blind these systems electronically.

Syria isn't saying anything, nor are the Israelis, but Iranian officers are complaining openly that they have been had by the Russians. The Iranians bought Russian equipment based on assurances that the gear would detect and shoot down Israeli warplanes.


The Iranians fear an Israeli air strike against their nuclear weapons development facilities. It was thought the new Russian missiles and radars would persuade the Israelis to stay away.

But now the raid on Syria looks like a dress rehearsal for one a little further east. Since Iranian leaders have openly called for the destruction of Israel, one can't deny the Israelis a little self-defense. Thus the cries and whispers in Iranian military headquarters.

A lot of this is leaking on to Farsi language email and message boards. There is much angst and unhappiness.
By netchicken: posted on 30-9-2007

Looks like the story is going mainline

Iran is concerned over the failure of Syria's air defense systems to detect the Israel Air Force non-stealth aircraft that reportedly carried out an attack inside Syria last month, the American weekly Aviation Week reported on its website on Wednesday.

According to the report, Israel was able to disrupt Syria's radar and air defense systems and render them ineffective during the IAF strike. The website reported that Israel used an electronic device, installed in a plane that circled the area, to disrupt Syria's defenses.

The weekly maintained that Iran is especially concerned over the failure of Syria's Russian-made radar systems. Iran has used similar systems in the past, and is slated to purchase more radar equipment in a future deal worth $750 million. This equipment is apparently designated to protect Iran's nuclear facilities against attacks from the air.

According to the report, Israel used highly advanced equipment to jam Syria's defenses, similar to the equipment used in the U.S., which can completely black out a radar system, thus neutralizing the defense missile systems which rely on it.

The website added that since the IAF attack in Syria, many experts around the world have speculated on the reasons behind the fact that Syria's defenses failed to detect the Israeli planes and prevent the attack.

The publication also said that the technology used to disrupt the Syrian defenses had the capability to misinform the targeted radar system and create a false reading, thus diverting attention from the actual aircraft. The website did not name the kind of technology it was referring to, nor did it attest to the quality of its performance.

In 1982, during the war in Lebanon, Israel operated what was then considered the cutting edge of electronic equipment to disrupt and misinform Lebanese defenses. This equipment facilitated the Israeli attack on Syrian air defense batteries in Lebanon.
By netchicken: posted on 5-10-2007

Here is the aviation week article. Wow the software used to stop the defence radar is amazing! There is nothing it seems it can't do even to taking over the radar and making false readings.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the Israelis struck a construction site at Tall al-Abyad just south of the Turkish border on Sept. 6. Press reports from the region say witnesses saw the Israeli aircraft approach from the Mediterranean Sea while others found unmarked drop tanks in Turkey near the border with Syria. Israeli defense officials admitted Oct. 2 that the Israeli Air Force made the raid.

The big mystery of the strike is how did the non-stealthy F-15s and F-16s get through the Syrian air defense radars without being detected?

Some U.S. officials say they have the answer.

U.S. aerospace industry and retired military officials indicated today that a technology like the U.S.-developed “Suter” airborne network attack system developed by BAE Systems and integrated into U.S. unmanned aircraft by L-3 Communications was used by the Israelis.

The system has been used or at least tested operationally in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last year.
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The technology allows users to invade communications networks, see what enemy sensors see and even take over as systems administrator so sensors can be manipulated into positions so that approaching aircraft can’t be seen, they say.
The process involves locating enemy emitters with great precision and then directing data streams into them that can include false targets and misleading messages algorithms that allow a number of activities including control.

A Kuwaiti newspaper wrote that "Russian experts are studying why the two state-of-the art Russian-built radar systems in Syria did not detect the Israeli jets entering Syrian territory. Iran reportedly has asked the same question, since it is buying the same systems and might have paid for the Syrian acquisitions."

The system in question is thought to be the new Tor-M1 launchers which carries eight missiles as well as two of the Pachora-2A system. Iran bought 29 of the Tor launchers from Russia for $750 million to guard its nuclear sites, and they were delivered in Jan., according to Agency France-Press and ITAR-TASS.

Syrian press reports they were tested in February. They also are expected to form a formidable system when used with the longer-range S-300/SA-10 which Iran has been trying to buy from Russia. Syria has operated SA-6s for years and more recently has been negotiating with Russians for the Tor-M1. What systems were actually guarding the Syrian site are not known.

Aviation Week
By netchicken: posted on 6-10-2007

The US tried to postpone and delay the Sryian attack over fears of faulty intelligence.

The September Israeli airstrike on a suspected nuclear site in Syria had been in the works for months, ABC News has learned, and was delayed only at the strong urging of the United States.

In early July the Israelis presented the United States with satellite imagery that they said showed a nuclear facility in Syria. They had additional evidence that they said showed that some of the technology was supplied by North Korea.

One U.S. official told ABC's Martha Raddatz the material was "jaw dropping" because it raised questions as to why U.S. intelligence had not previously picked up on the facility.

Officials said that the facility had likely been there for months if not years.

"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.

A senior U.S. official said the Israelis planned to strike during the week of July 14 and in secret high-level meetings American officials argued over how to respond to the intelligence.

Some in the administration supported the Israeli action, but others, notably Sect. of State Condoleeza Rice did not. One senior official said the U.S. convinced the Israelis to "confront Syria before attacking."

Officials said they were concerned about the impact an attack on Syria would have on the region. And given the profound consequences of the flawed intelligence in Iraq, the U.S. wanted to be absolutely certain the intelligence was accurate.

Initially, administration officials convinced the Israelis to call off the July strike. But in September the Israelis feared that news of the site was about to leak and went ahead with the strike despite U.S. concerns.

The airstrike was so highly classified, President Bush refused to acknowledge it publicly even after the bombs fell.
By netchicken: posted on 7-10-2007

Some North Korean scientists were hit in the Syria strike. I hope North Korea takes that as a warning.

WASHINGTON - A top-secret report by the U.S. intelligence services says several North Korean scientists were injured in Israel's strike in Syria last month, top Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland reported in the paper Sunday.

Some two weeks ago, British newspaper The Sunday Times reported that diplomats in North Korea and China believed a number of North Koreans had been killed in the strike, based on reports reaching Asian governments about conversations between Chinese and North Korean officials.

In his article about the efforts to dismantle North Korea's nuclear program, Hoagland said the site of the attack was a plutonium enrichment facility for the Syrian nuclear program.

North Korea was one of the first countries in the world to condemn Israel for the strike just several days after it became known. But North Korea and Syria denied that the site was linked to the North Korean nuclear program, which is due to be terminated in accordance with international agreements Pyongyang has signed.

More on the site
By netchicken: posted on 9-10-2007

Hiding the evidence...

WASHINGTON - Syria has begun dismantling the remains of a site Israel bombed Sept. 6 in what may be an attempt to prevent the location from coming under international scrutiny, said US and foreign officials familiar with the aftermath of the attack.

Based on overhead photography, the officials say the site in Syria's eastern desert near the Euphrates River had a "signature" or characteristics of a small but substantial nuclear reactor, one similar in structure to North Korea's facilities.

The dismantling of the damaged site, which appears to be still underway, could make it difficult for weapons inspectors to determine the precise nature of the facility and how Syria planned to use it. Syria, which possesses a small reactor used for scientific research, has denied seeking to expand its nuclear program. But US officials knowledgeable about the Israeli raid have described the target as a nuclear facility being constructed with North Korean assistance.

The bombed facility is different from the one Syria displayed to journalists last week to back its allegations that Israel had bombed an essentially empty building, said the officials, who insisted on anonymity because details of the Israeli attack are classified.
By netchicken: posted on 20-10-2007

Pictures of the possible site have been released. These are from Digital Globe, a commercial satellite firm, just over a month before a September 6 Israeli air strike

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A US think tank Wednesday made public satellite images of a site in Syria that bore similarities to a North Korean nuclear reaction and may have been targeted in a secretive Israeli strike.

The images were taken by Digital Globe, a commercial satellite firm, just over a month before a September 6 Israeli air strike on a target inside Syria. No post-strike images of the site were shown.

US news reports have said the Israeli target was believed to be a suspected nuclear site, possibly in the early stages of construction with North Korean help, but Israel has refused to comment and Syria has denied the existence of a nuclear site.

The images showed a tall building about 780 meters (yards) east of the Euphrates River in eastern Syria and what appears to be a water pumping station directly on the river, the Institute for Science and International Security said.

"The tall building in the image may house a reactor under construction and the pump station along the river may have been intended to supply cooling water to the reactor," said David Albright and Paul Brannan, the experts who analyzed the images.

They said the tall building was similar in shape to the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon, but was not far enough along in its construction to make a definitive comparison.

A secondary structure also appears in the images but its purpose was unknown, they said in their report.

"If the design of the reactor is similar to a North Korean reactor, it is likely a small gas-graphite reactor of the type North Korea built at the Yongbyon nuclear site north of Pyongyang," they said.

"The Syrian building size suggests that the reactor would be in the range of about 20-25 megawatts-thermal, large enough to make about one nuclear weapon's worth of plutonium each year," they said.

"If Syria wanted to build nuclear weapons, it would need a specialized facility to chemically separate the plutonium from the irradiated fuel discharged from the reactor," they said.

"It is unknown whether Syria has such a facility under construction or planned," they said.

The site was located about 145 kilometers (87 miles) from the Iraqi border and 11 kilometers (6.6 miles) north of At Tibnah in the Dayr az Zawr region of Syria.

But Damascus has denied any such nuclear site and President Bashar Al-Assad has said only the target was an "unused military building" and that the bombs hit "nothing of consequence."

In Israel, the raid has been shrouded in secrecy and information restricted to few officials. Israeli media has been allowed to publish only the fact that a raid occurred without comment from Israeli officials.

The US experts agreed that the images they released raised as many questions as they answered.

"How far along was the reactor construction project when it was bombed? What was the extent of nuclear assistance from North Korea? Which reactor components did Syria obtain from North Korea or elsewhere, and where are they now?"

"Is Syria able to produce any of the key reactor components itself? Could Syria have finished the reactor without on-going North Korean assistance? Did Syria plan to build a plutonium separation plant?"

The experts said the length of the outer walls of the tall building were roughly the same as those of the Yongbyon reactor.

"Trucks can be seen approximately 100 meters to the east of the tall building. This, along with evidence of heavy machinery tracks around this site, indicates recent construction activity," they said.

An air strip about 3.5 kilometers (two miles) away would serve to provide quick transportation of personnel and officials, they said.

The roof of the Yongbyon facility is taller than that of the Syrian building but a square visible on the latter's roof indicated that construction of an upper roof was planned, their report said.

The experts said the North Koreans build reactors in place over time, thus avoiding the use of large cranes to lower pre-built pieces into place, they said. That method would allow them to cover the work on the reactor with a roof.
By netchicken: posted on 25-10-2007

This is absolutely hilarious!
It reminds me of a cartoon we had up on the wall of the barracks that pictured a squad leader briefing his troops saying, "Men, this mission is so secret only the enemy knows about it."

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The veil of secrecy in Damascus surrounding Syria's alleged nuclear facility left it vulnerable to aerial attack, Aviation Week magazine on Saturday quoted an Israeli official as saying.

According to foreign media reports, the facility was the target of an Israel Air Force strike deep inside Syrian territory in early September.

"The target was so highly classified in Damascus that the military wasn't briefed and, therefore, air defenses were unprepared," Aviation Week reported, attributing the information to an Israeli official.

The U.S. publication said Israel used an array of sophisticated technological tools ranging from satellites to anti-electronic warfare to plan and carry out the alleged bombing of the complex in northern Syria, said to be built with the aid of North Korea.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 4-11-2007

New information, it wasn't a nuclear plant, it was something worse....

All these explanations and others lead Even to believe that what was destroyed was not a nuclear reactor.

If this is the case, what was the purpose of the structure?
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In my estimation this was something very nasty and vicious, and even more dangerous than a reactor. I have no information, only an assessment, but I suspect that it was a plant for processing plutonium, namely a factory for assembling the bomb.
said Even.

In other words, Syria already had several kilograms of plutonium, and it was involved in building a bomb factory (the assembling of one bomb requires about four kilograms of fissionable material).

Processing the plutonium and assembling the bomb require utmost caution, because plutonium is one of the most toxic and radioactive materials. One microgram can kill one person, and a gram is capable of killing a million people. Handling it requires special lathes, but because of its lethal nature nobody is allowed to come into direct contact with plutonium or with the lathes. That is why there is a need to build labs containing dozens of glove boxes, which isolate and separate the worker from the material and the equipment.

What reinforces Even's suspicion that the structure attacked in Syria was in fact a bomb assembly plant is the fact that the satellite photos taken after the bombing clearly show that the Syrians made an effort to bury the entire site under piles of earth.
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They did so because of the lethal nature of the material that was in the structure, and that can be plutonium.

That may also be the reason they refused to allow IAEA inspectors to visit the site and take samples of the earth, which would give away their secret.
he said.

North Korea's consent to shut down the Yongbyon reactor and to allow renewed international monitoring of it (although it is not clear what will happen to the fissionable material in its possession - enriched plutonium and uranium), was achieved after exhausting contacts that lasted for about five years, with China, Russia, the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

In exchange, North Korea will receive economic assistance and fuel. Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen are apparently aware that revealing the truth about North Korea's role will lead to pressure on the U.S. administration to discontinue the contacts with the regime in Pyongyang.

But for exactly the same reason, the administration is not interested in doing so, particularly not at this sensitive time when it is trying to prevent Iran's nuclear program.

And what about Israel? Wasn't it in Israel's interest to publicize what was bombed in Syria? Of course it was. Even more so if this was a plant for assembling a nuclear bomb based on information, technology and fissionable material that Syria re ceived from North Korea, perhaps with the knowledge and consent of Iran, or even more than that.

Then why is Israel insisting on continuing to maintain total secrecy? The only logical explanation (except for the embarrassment of Syrian President Bashar Assad, which doesn't particularly bother Israel), is the desire not to make things hard for the U.S. administration.

much more on the site
By netchicken: posted on 24-11-2007

Looks like syria is busily rebuilding the bombed site.

The puzzling site in Syria that Israeli jets bombed in September grew more curious on Friday with the release of a satellite photograph showing new construction there that resembles the site’s former main building.

The image released Friday came from a private company, DigitalGlobe, in Longmont, Colo. It shows a tall, square building under construction that appears to closely resemble the original structure, with the exception that the roof is vaulted instead of flat. The photo was taken from space on Wednesday.
By netchicken: posted on 14-1-2008

The Bush administration will tell Congress tomorrow that a nuclear facility in Syria built with North Korean help was nearly complete when Israel bombed it in September, and that Pyongyang has not provided any further assistance to the hard-line Arab nation, at least at the flattened site, U.S. officials said.

CIA Director Michael V. Hayden and other intelligence officials are expected to brief several congressional committees in closed-door sessions, breaking the administration's silence on the issue, which has become part of negotiations to end the North's nuclear programs.

"The fact is that the reactor was nearing completion. It would have been able to produce plutonium," said one official familiar with the content of the briefings.

Another official said that the facility in Syria was similar to North Korea's main nuclear complex at Yongbyon, which is thought to have produced fuel for several atomic bombs. The Yongbyon facility has been almost disabled by U.S. experts.

Plutonium is the most common ingredient for atomic bombs.

Administration and congressional officials spoke about the Syrian facility in past tense.

One official said it was "good that it was put out of commission," and others added that the Israeli air strike occurred before fuel "had been placed in the reactor."

Satellite photos taken before the Israeli strike show a large cubical building that is thought to have housed a nuclear reactor. The building is absent in photographs taken after the strike.

More on the link

Israeli image

syrian-nuclear-reactor.jpg - 35.12kb
By netchicken: posted on 24-4-2008

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