IDF publishes 2002 intelligence document warning of Syria’s nuclear aspirations

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The Israel Defense Forces have published a previously secret intelligence document from 2002, in which the Military Intelligence Directorate warned Syria may be seeking to launch a military nuclear program, the Times of Israel (TOI) reports.

Published for the first time on Tuesday, the document dates to five years before Israel bombed a covert nuclear reactor being built in Syria’s Deir Ezzor on September 6, 2007, and ended Syrian hopes of obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“Recently it became known that secret projects previously unknown to us are being conducted (or at least were being conducted) within the framework of the Syrian Atomic Energy Commission,” the cover sheet of the top-secret document from September 2002 read.

“The information does not indicate an active military nuclear program underway in Syria, but it does indicate an interest in areas that can contribute to the development of a program, and raises suspicions of the beginning of the development of such a program,” the document said.

Israeli and US intelligence officials have said Syria’s Deir Ezzor site contained a gas-cooled, graphite-moderated reactor that could have produced weapons-grade plutonium, similar to North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear facility, TOI reports. The facility was close to being operational when Israel bombed it in Operation Orchard 15 years ago.

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