U.S. Assisted Israel In Syrian Attack
Israel "mole" took photos of Syrian target: report
10/19/07 -- -- WASHINGTON "Reuters"
- - Israel had obtained
detailed pictures of a Syrian complex from an apparent mole,
which supported an Israeli belief the facility was nuclear and
led to an air strike on it last month, ABC News reported on
ABC, citing a senior U.S. official, said the person had provided
several pictures of the complex from the ground, and Israel
showed the images to the CIA. The U.S. spy agency helped
pinpoint "drop points" to assist in potential targeting, ABC
Israel urged the United States to destroy the complex, but
Washington hesitated because no fissionable material was found
that would prove the site was nuclear, ABC said.
The network quoted the official as saying the facility was of
North Korean design and that Syria must have had "human" help
from North Korea.
The White House and the CIA declined to comment on the report,
in keeping with a strict U.S. refusal to discuss the issue.
Israel has confirmed that it carried out an air strike on Syria
on September 6 but it has not described the target. Syria has
said only that it was a building under construction.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that the targeted site was
modeled on a facility North Korea used for stockpiling atomic
bomb fuel. Syria has one declared, small research nuclear
reactor under safeguard of the International Atomic Energy
Agency and has denied hiding any nuclear activity.
The complex struck by Israel was in a remote area about 100
miles from the Iraqi border and along the Euphrates River, ABC
It said the official described the pictures as showing a large
cylindrical structure, still under construction, with thick
reinforced walls. There was also a secondary structure and a
pump station with trucks around it.
"It was unmistakable what it was going to be. No doubt in my
mind," ABC quoted the official as saying.
The United States had begun to consider ways to destroy the
complex, such as a special forces raid using helicopters, ABC
said. But it said the White House sent word the United States
would not carry out a raid and urged Israel not to do it either.
© Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
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