The Israeli military on Wednesday confirmed that it was behind an airstrike in Syria in 2007 that destroyed what it had believed to be a nuclear reactor. The military released declassified operational footage, photographs and intelligence documents about the operation.
The revelation was made on Wednesday when the military censors lifted a 10-year-old order that had barred Israeli officials from discussing the airstrike, Reuters reported. The military said eight F-15 fighter jets had carried out the airstrike in the Deir ez-Zor region, destroying the site that it believed was scheduled to go into operation later that year.
Israel said the reactor was being constructed with the help of North Korea and was only months away from being activated. The military said that the operation had removed a major threat to Israel and the region.
“The message from the 2007 attack on the reactor is that Israel will not tolerate construction that can pose an existential threat,” military chief Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot said, according to AP. “This was the message in 1981, this is the message in 2007 and this is the future message to our enemies.”
Syria has always denied that the site was a nuclear reactor or having engaged in nuclear cooperation with North Korea. Syria is a signatory to the 1970 non-proliferation treaty.