IAF marks planes that destroyed Syrian nuclear reactor

Pilots who carried out the attack in Syria in 2007 posted the symbol of the operation onto the planes that took part in the mission.

Kobi Finkler ,

IAF fighter jets being marked
IAF fighter jets being marked
IDF Spokesperson's Unit

A ceremony was held on Thursday to mark the 11th anniversary of Operation “Outside the Box”, during which the Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck the nuclear reactor in Syria, and to commemorate the achievements of the IAF during the course of the operation.

The aircraft which took part in the operation belonged to three different squadrons: The 69th 'Hammers' Squadron, the 119th 'Bat' Squadron, and the 253rd 'Negev' Squadron. Thursday’s ceremony, which took place at the Hatzerim Airbase, was devoted to the 69th and 253rd Squadrons, while another ceremony will take place on September 14 for the 119th Squadron.

The aircraft were marked with a sticker showing the operation's logo. The logo depicts a triangle, which represents the attack, in the colors of the Syrian flag (two green stars on top of a red, black, and white background), and in its center has a radiation warning logo, symbolizing the nuclear reactor.

Pilots who participated in the operation, professional staff members who had prepared and equipped the aircraft prior to their involvement in the operation, and the Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. G., placed these stickers on the 69th Squadron's aircraft.

On the night of September 5, 2007, IAF warplanes struck a nuclear reactor which had been established in the area of Deir Ezzor in Syria. The reactor was destroyed swiftly and efficiently before it became operational.

Operation “Outside the Box” lasted several hours and its execution was carried out as planned. The operation demonstrated the IAF's creativity, professionalism, and flexibility in responding to differing situations and accommodating the decisions taken by the political echelons, and the troops involved showed great courage in performing their mission.