Researchers at the Institute for Science and International Security, an independent research group in Washington, have spotted what may have been the target of Israel's recent bombing raid against Syria.
Pre-attack satellite imagery of eastern Syria, where the attack occurred, shows a tall building that may have housed a nuclear reactor under construction, according to the report by ISIS President David Albright. There have been unofficial reports since the September 6 airstrikes that Israel took pre-emptive action against a secret nuclear facility, which Syria has denied.
The report by Albright, an expert on nuclear programs, says the main building and others under construction are similar in design and dimensions to North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear reactor. "From the image, the Syrian building is similar in shape to the North Korean reactor building, but the Syrian building is not far enough along it its construction to make a definitive comparison," says Albright.
"The images raise as many questions as they answer," says Albright. "How far along was the reactor construction project when it was bombed? What was the extent of nuclear assistance from North Korea? Which reactor components did Syria obtain from North Korea or elsewhere, and where are they now? Is Syria able to produce any of the key reactor components itself? Could Syria have finished the reactor without ongoing North Korean assistance?"
By Terry Atlas