[Update] 9/22/07- Update on this about the ground operations obtaining nuclear material before the air strikes, found here.
Back in October of 2006, when North Korea tested a nuclear device that conflicting reports showed to either be a successful completion of nuclear weapon technology or a fizzle and pop that was dangerous, it showed that North Korea might not have perfected their technology.
I said at the time that if North Korea successfully developed usable nuclear technology it would be a matter of time before they sold that technology to someone like al-Qaeda.
al-Qaeda aside, it looks like North Korea has, indeed, been working with Syria, a state that sponsors terror as well as a puppet state for Iran, and the latest confusion regarding Israels actions against Syria shows that Jong-il, might just have given and/or sold that technology to Syria.
This is not going to be pretty, but someone needs to deal with Jong-il before he sells someone like al-Qaeda a nuclear bomb which by all accounts, would end up in OUR backyard.
The other day we did two pieces, one was "all eyes on Iran", and the other was "next stop Syria and Israel". In that second piece we were talking of reports of Israel's air strikes against Syria and the speculation running rampant of what they struck.
Times Online is reporting that Israel blew apart a Syrian nuclear cache and that it was a secret raid on a Korean shipment.
IT was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way.
At a rendezvous point on the ground, a Shaldag air force commando team was waiting to direct their laser beams at the target for the approaching jets. The team had arrived a day earlier, taking up position near a large underground depot. Soon the bunkers were in flames.
Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea.
The Israeli government was not saying. “The security sources and IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] soldiers are demonstrating unusual courage,” said Ehud Olmert, the prime minister. “We naturally cannot always show the public our cards.”
Andrew Semmel, a senior US State Department official, said Syria might have obtained nuclear equipment from “secret suppliers”, and added that there were a “number of foreign technicians” in the country.
Asked if they could be North Korean, he replied: “There are North Korean people there. There’s no question about that.” He said a network run by AQ Khan, the disgraced creator of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, could be involved.
But why would nuclear material be in Syria? Known to have chemical weapons, was it seeking to bolster its arsenal with something even more deadly?
Alternatively, could it be hiding equipment for North Korea, enabling Kim Jong-il to pretend to be giving up his nuclear programme in exchange for economic aid? Or was the material bound for Iran, as some authorities in America suggest?
According to Israeli sources, preparations for the attack had been going on since late spring, when Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, presented Olmert with evidence that Syria was seeking to buy a nuclear device from North Korea.
The Israeli spy chief apparently feared such a device could eventually be installed on North-Korean-made Scud-C missiles.
“This was supposed to be a devastating Syrian surprise for Israel,” said an Israeli source. “We’ve known for a long time that Syria has deadly chemical warheads on its Scuds, but Israel can’t live with a nuclear warhead.”
An expert on the Middle East, who has spoken to Israeli participants in the raid, told yesterday’s Washington Post that the timing of the raid on September 6 appeared to be linked to the arrival three days earlier of a ship carrying North Korean material labelled as cement but suspected of concealing nuclear equipment.
Read the whole piece....
As Michael van der Galiën points out:
In other words, North Korea and Syria were (are) probably working on a weapon program together. If this is correct, Israel was completely right to carry out airstrikes against its neighbor. As the article at the Times states, most people know that Syria has chemical weapons, Israel also knows this and can deal with it, but nuclear weapons are an entirely different matter altogether. Syria having scuds with nuclear heads on them isn’t something Israel is willing to risk.
Captain's Quarters also makes a very good point here:
Given Syria's support for terrorists, especially Hamas and Hezbollah, that's a very good development. Syrian nukes would have immediately led to war with Israel; the fact that Syria still has not responded militarily to the attack shows that they cannot hope to beat the Israelis in a war now without nuclear blackmail, or worse. The greater threat of Syrian nukes was not an all-out attack, which would have generated a devastating American response, but of a terrorist attack using smuggled Syrian nukes, for which Syria could claim no responsibility. That's why Israel had to act before Syria could put those weapons in the hands of its proxy terrorists.
Everyone knows the connection between Iran and Syria, and now everyone knows the North Korea, who tested a nuclear device back in 2006, has a connection to Syria and is providing them with "technology". Furthermore, in a recent raid in Iraq and Iranian intelligence officer was killed and in that same raid an al-Qaeda leader was killed.
Baghdad : An Iranian intelligence officer and an Al Qaeda leader in Salahaddin province were among 12 militants reported killed in a US raid in south Samarra city, an Iraqi official report said Tuesday.
I do not know about you, but when you mix the members of the "Axis of Evil" with al-Qaeda as reports have effectively done, you come out with a deadly recipe, not just for Israel or the United States, but for the international community at large.
Israel is well within their rights to protect themselves from imminent attacks against them.
In December of 2006, when Ethiopian forces attacked Islamic forces in Somalia, a high ranking African Union official said:
“It is up to every country to judge the measure of the threat to its own sovereignty.”
He was right and Israel has that same right, in fact, obligation, to take the threats to "wipe them off the map" very seriously and they must do everything in their power to protect themselves as we must stand with them to do so.
I have often said that the U.S., despite all the hype about our attacking Iran in massive air strikes, might not be the ones to take out Iran's nuclear facilities, Israel very well might do it for the international community because it is Israel that would be attacked first, should Iran or Syria get their hands on nuclear devices.
Once again, it seems that Israel is the only one with the guts to act, while the rest of the international community sits on their collective asses and watches Syria actively and publicly rearm Hizbullah and work with North Korea to obtain nuclear weapons of their own.
I asked back in December of 2006 if Israel was watching, I guess I have my answer now, they were watching and they haven't taken their eye off the ball since.
Good for them.
An interesting take from TigerHawk.