Monday, September 17, 2007

Pyongyang - Damascus Pact?

As we mentioned the other day we thought there was a chance that something significant might be brewing in the Middle East given an Israeli strike in Syria week before last.

Here is an update. Excerpt:

Based on reporting from the Middle East and Washington, the Times story confirmed that Israeli warplanes targeted nuclear materials that were apparently shipped to Syria by North Korea. The article also verified claims that the recent strike was an air/ground operation, with Israeli commandos providing laser designation for F-15Is, which dropped precision weapons on their targets.

Sources also tell the Times that the raid destroyed storage bunkers at a supposed "agricultural" complex along the Euphrates River, near the Iraqi border. The facility apparently gained the attention of Israel's intelligence services, which ordered additional overhead coverage of the target in recent months. According to the Times (and the Washington Post), the raid appeared to coincide with the arrival of a North Korean ship at a Syrian port. The North Korea vessel docked only three days before the airstsrike, carrying a cargo listed was as cement, but was suspected of concealing nuclear equipment.
Truth be told, we may never know what was at that "agricultural center" along the Euphrates. But it is revealing that the Israelis, who had been watching the facility for months, suddenly elected to strike the complex, after that "cargo" arrived from North Korea. Something about the shipment spurred Israel to action, suggesting that it was more than equipment, or material that could be eventually used in nuclear weapons.

Worth reading in its entirety.

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