Israel’s military has formally acknowledged bombing a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, more than a decade after the secret operation. Military officials had previously been barred from discussing the airstrikes on the clandestine facility near Deir ez-Zur, but they have now been freed to spill the details on the years-long operation, which Israel says neutralized a threat to the entire region. Built with help from North Korea, the nuclear reactor—dubbed The Cube—was discovered by Israeli authorities by chance and only after a series of intelligence failures, those involved in the Israeli operation now say. Amnon Sufrin, the former head of the Mossad’s intelligence division, said Israeli intelligence only thought to look into Syria’s nuclear activities after learning that U.S. and British authorities were seeking to stop Libya’s nuclear program, Haaretz reports. Israeli intelligence finally discovered a mysterious building in the middle of the Syrian desert, which they quickly realized had been disguised “to look like a factory from the outside,” Sufrin said. The Israeli mission to destroy the nuclear reactor took place on Sept. 5-6, 2007.
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