Report: Israel Had Man on Inside of Syrian Nuclear Facility

The latest in the string of foreign press reports regarding the Sept. 6 strike in Syria claims Israel had a mole inside a Syrian nuclear facility.

Ezra HaLevi ,

The latest in the string of foreign press reports regarding Israel's September 6 strike in Syria claims Israel had a mole inside a Syrian nuclear facility. The IDF has released no information regarding the mission.

ABC News reported Saturday that, “Israeli officials believed that a target their forces bombed inside Syria last month was a nuclear facility, because they had detailed photographs taken by a possible spy inside the complex.”

The report quotes an unnamed senior U.S. official saying Israel noticed the Syrian nuclear facility this summer, leading the Mossad “to either co-opt one of the facility's workers or to insert a spy posing as an employee. As a result, the Israelis obtained many detailed pictures of the facility from the ground.”

The official described the photographs as showing a large “cylindrical structure with very thick walls all well-reinforced.” He said it was located far from civilization, near a lone pumping station that was to supply the cooling tower for the nuclear reactor. He added that the facility was of North Korean design.

The report adds an element to previous reports on US involvement in the attack. The official said that Israel urged the US to destroy the reactor, but it refrained from doing so due to the lack of actual nuclear material in the photos.

"It was unmistakable what it was going to be,” the official said. “No doubt in my mind.”

Washington Post: Syria Burying the Evidence
Syria has begun destroying the remains of the facility, which was allegedly bombed in an Israel Air Force operation on September 6, according to the Washington Post.

The report, which also quotes an unnamed US official, says Syria is trying to get rid of the evidence that a nuclear facility was present at the site in order to obscure it from UN nuclear inspectors.

Last week, Syria brought reporters to a facility it claimed had been hit by the Israeli strike. The Post reported that it was a different place altogether.

UN: Syrian Admission Due to “Interpreter Error”
The UN announced Wednesday that reports that a Syrian official had admitted a nuclear facility was struck in an Israeli raid were due to an English-language interpreter's error.

"There was an interpretation error made yesterday when the First Committee was in session," UN spokesman Farhan Haq said. "There was no use of the word nuclear. Although in English the interpreter had suggested that the Syrian delegate had referred to an attack on a nuclear facility, what he said was ‘like what happened on the 6th of September against my country,’” Haq said.

The UN says the English interpreter originally said, referring to Israel: "An entity that is the fourth largest exporter of weapons of mass destruction in the world, an entity that violates other countries' airspace, and that takes action against nuclear facilities, including the attack on 6 July this year on a nuclear facility in my country - that entity has no right to lie, which it has done consistently."

The UN later corrected the translation of what it says was the original Arabic recording: “That is ranking number four among the exporters of lethal weapons in the world; that which violates the airspace of sovereign states and carries out military aggression against them, like what happened on September 6 against my country, such entity with all those characteristics and even more, has no right for its representative to go on lying without shame..."

The Syrian representative was responding to an accusation by Israeli Foreign Ministry official Miriam Ziv that Syria continues to transfer weapons to Hizbullah.