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Monday, September 17, 2007

Israelis attack on Syria a message to Iran.

This is from the liberal Israeli paper Haaretz. It seems always to be assumed that there is really nothing wrong with an unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation that is your neighbour. The issue is why did the Israelis do it;never, it was wrong to do it and a clear violation of international law.
As with the US, Israel simply ignores international law and the UN unless it suits its interests.

Ex-UN envoy: IAF action in Syria is 'message to Iran' over nukes

By Barak Ravid, Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents, Haaretz Service and News Agencies

Former United Nations ambassador John Bolton said Sunday that Israel's reported military operation inside Syria earlier this month should be regarded as a 'clear message to Iran' that its nuclear efforts will not be ignored by the international community.

"I think it would be unusual for Israel to conduct a military operation inside Syria other than for a very high value target, and certainly a Syrian effort in the nuclear weapons area would qualify," Bolton told Channel 10 in an interview broadcast Sunday.

"I think this is a clear message not only to Syria, I think it's a clear message to Iran as well, that its continued efforts to acquire nuclear weapons are not going to go unanswered," Bolton said



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Bolton, who has long called for a hard line against the Syrian and Iranian regimes, did not indicate that he had first-hand information about the incident.

The U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times quoted an Israeli source on Sunday as saying that Syria had been planning a "devastating surprise" for Israel, in the wake of reports that the Israel Air Force carried out an air strike against a North Korean nuclear shipment to Syria.

The paper quoted Israeli sources as saying that planning for the strike began shortly after Meir Dagan, chief of the Mossad intelligence agency, presented Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in late spring with evidence that Syria was seeking to buy a nuclear device from North Korea.

Dagan apparently feared such a device could eventually be installed on North-Korean-made Scud-C missiles, the paper reported.

"This was supposed to be a devastating Syrian surprise for Israel," the Sunday Times quoted an Israeli source as saying. "We've known for a long time that Syria has deadly chemical warheads on its Scuds, but Israel can't live with a nuclear warhead."

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Sunday that a senior North Korean official denied a Washington Post report that Pyongyang was giving nuclear expertise to Syria. The report suggested intelligence including satellite images revealed a facility in Syria which may be used to build nuclear warheads.

"They often say things that are groundless," Yonhap quoted deputy chief of the North Korean mission to the United Nations Kim Myong-gil as saying in response to the Post report.

When asked to elaborate Kim hung up the phone, Yonhap reported.

The U.K. newspaper The Observer reported Sunday that Israel's reported strike on Syria involved as many as eight aircraft.

According to the report, the force included F-15s and F-16s equipped with Maverick missiles and 500 pound bombs.

Flying among the warplanes at great height, The Observer reported, was an electronic intelligence gathering aircraft.

According to the Times report, an IAF commando team that had arrived on the ground days earlier directed laser beams at the target for the jets.

Meanwhile, the weekly German news magazine reported Sunday that a German intelligence ship stationed off the coast of Lebanon as part of a United Nations peacekeeping force identified two F-15 jets entering Syrian airspace.

Syria's ambassador to Washington over the weekend denied foreign media reports that an Israel Air Force strike on his country 10 days ago targeted a nuclear project being undertaken with the cooperation of North Korea.

According to the foreign press reports, the target of the IAF raid was a Syrian nuclear installation that was constructed in the northeastern corner of the country, with North Korean assistance.

In an interview to Newsweek, Imad Moustapha called the reports "absolutely, totally, fundamentally ridiculous and untrue."

"There are no nuclear North Korean-Syrian facilities whatsoever in Syria," Moustapha said.

On Saturday, The Washington Post published an article saying the IAF strike was aimed at a shipment that had arrived in Syria aboard a North Korean vessel three days earlier, and may have included equipment and materials related to nuclear technology.

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