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Reports: Nuclear facility captured by rebels in Syria

Published: February 24th, 2013 at 12:12 pm ET
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>> UPDATE HERE: YNET: Syria rebels present IAEA with demands over captured nuclear facility -- "We're willing to cooperate if our conditions are met" -- 'Special security parameter' set up <<

Reuters, 11:40a ET: Syrian rebels have captured the site of a suspected nuclear reactor near the Euphrates river which Israeli warplanes destroyed six years ago, opposition sources in eastern Syria said on Sunday. Al-Kubar site, around 60 km (35 miles) west of the city of Deir al-Zor, became a focus of international attention when Israel raided it in 2007. The United States said the complex was a North Korean-designed nuclear reactor geared to making weapons-grade plutonium. [...] The Syrian military, which razed the site after the Israeli raid, said the complex was a regular military facility but refused to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency unrestrained access, after the agency said the complex could have been a nuclear site. [...]

The Times of Israel, Feb. 23: Syrian rebels claimed overnight Friday that they had taken control of a nuclear facility that was bombed by Israel in 2007. In messages posted online, rebel sources described the site as a “nuclear research facility.” The al-Kibar site, located in the Deir ez-Zor region of eastern Syria, is believed to have previously housed a nuclear reactor, which according to foreign reports, was destroyed by the Israeli Air Force. [...] former US president George W. Bush’s deputy national security adviser at the time, Elliot Abrams, revealed last year in an interview that then-prime minister Ehud Olmert unilaterally decided to strike the Syrian reactor. Olmert did so, according to Abrams, after Bush informed him that the Americans would not attack the facility. [...]

BloombergSyria rebels seize nuclear research center [...] Syria’s main opposition group agreed to set up a transitional government seeking recognition as the legitimate alternative to President Bashar Assad’s rule, as rebels said they seized control of a nuclear research center. [...] Syrian rebel fighters seized control of a nuclear research center at Al Kibar, in the eastern province of Deir Ezzour, which was reportedly bombed by Israelis in 2007, the opposition Local Coordination Committees said in an e-mail. [...]

See also: All countries with nuclear reactors have nuclear bomb factories -- Includes Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan -- Nuclear power a "camouflage" for nuclear weapons (VIDEO, Part II)

Published: February 24th, 2013 at 12:12 pm ET
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