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2007 strike on Syrian Nuclear reactor declassified

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TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel’s pre-emptive attack a decade ago on a plutonium reactor in the Syrian desert not only derailed Damascus’ drive for nuclear weapons, but spared the world the specter of mass destruction capabilities falling into the hands of the Islamic State group.

That’s the message behind Israel’s first-ever official account of its operation Outside the Box, the four-hour mission that began before midnight on Sep. 5, 2007, to destroy Syria’s top-secret and nearly operational al-Kibar nuclear facility just weeks before it went hot.

“Imagine if today there was a nuclear reactor in Syria, what kind of situation we would be facing,” said Israeli Air Force Commander Amikam Norkin, the man who led the planning and execution of the “precision, low-signature” strike mission when he was chief of operations.


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