23:42 GMT +321 October 2019
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    An Israeli F-15 E fighter jet takes off during an air show.

    Israel Admits Bombing "Nuclear Facility" in Syria's Deir ez-Zor Province in 2007

    © AFP 2019 / THOMAS COEX
    Middle East
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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israeli airstrikes destroyed in 2007 an alleged nuclear facility in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, which was on final stages of its construction, the Israel Defense Forces said on Wednesday in a statement.

    "During the night of September 5th and 6th, 2007, the Israeli Air Force destroyed a nuclear facility in its last stages of construction in the Deir ez-Zor region in Syria, 280 miles north-east of Damascus. Four F-16 jets eliminated a nuclear threat not only to Israel, but to the entire region," the statement said.

    According to the IDF, the Military Intelligence Directorate had been monitoring the Syrian nuclear project for two years before the airstrikes. According to intelligence forecasts, the facility would have become active by the end of 2007.

    The whole operation lasted for four hours, according to the statement.

    "The Military Intelligence Directorate estimated that the nuclear facility was damaged beyond repair. As the IDF was preparing for retaliation, it decided that information about the operation shouldn’t be disclosed to the general public at the time. The operation was deemed a success by the Chief of the General Staff. The nuclear facility was destroyed and an escalation in the region prevented. Only a few years later, Daesh* [Islamic State] captured the Deir ez-Zor region. One could only imagine how much havoc they could have wreaked with a nuclear facility in their hands," the statement added.

    *A terrorist group banned in Russia


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