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The story behind Israel's secret strike on Syria's nuclear reactor

Israel for the first time acknowledges how nearly a decade ago it located and destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor built with the assistance of North Korea.
An undated image released by the U.S. Government shows the suspected Syrian nuclear reactor building under construction in Syria. The White House on April 24, 2008 broke its official silence on the mysterious September 6, 2007 Israeli air strike. "We are convinced, based on a variety of information, that North Korea assisted Syria's covert nuclear activities," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said in a statement. The statement came after intelligence officials briefed U.S. lawmakers about the Syrian nucl

Sometime in late 2006, US Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte visited Israel. According to a security source speaking on condition of anonymity, at a meeting with the heads of Israeli intelligence at Mossad headquarters in Tel Aviv, intelligence branch officers presented a small time bomb. On the margins of the discussion, dealing with various security analyses of Israel’s neighbors, Col. Eli Ben-Meir, head of the technological branch of army intelligence, said that according to his assessments the Syrians were working on an “unconventional weapons project.”

Amnon Sofrin, head of Mossad's intelligence branch, fumed. He had not authorized army intelligence officials to bring up the topic, because Mossad had concluded that there was no nuclear activity in Syria. Regardless, Ben-Meir had opened his presentation to Negroponte with three slides on nuclear activity in Syria. His assertions were explosive and controversial. Not only Mossad, but the Americans as well, headed by Negroponte, rejected the army intelligence assessment as unrealistic.

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