Skip to main content

Israel's acknowledgment of Syria nuclear strike sparks security debate

The story behind Israel's 2007 attack on Syria's nuclear reactor challenges the assumption that Israeli generals are more competent than Israeli politicians at making security decisions.
Read in 

On March 21, Al-Monitor and the Israeli press broke the story of Israel admitting that jets from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had destroyed the Syrian nuclear reactor at Deir ez-Zor in September 2007. Soon after publication, a battle of versions began as to who had been responsible for the decision to attack.

When the dust finally settles after this week’s embarrassing jostling over credit for the operation, the notion that Israel is best led by someone who used to be a general will be dispelled forever. Following a day of battling versions and public squabbling between the two Ehuds — former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former Defense Minister and Prime Minister Ehud Barak — it turns out that Lt. Gen. Barak had actually sought to delay the airstrike.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.