Israel is aware of other Syrian nuclear facilities...
Israeli intelligence agencies are aware of additional Syrian nuclear facilities, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Thursday, amid reports that Syria was harboring a uranium conversion reactor near the town of Marj as-Sultan, about 15 km. east of Damascus.
The German Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Thursday identified the location of the site, which is suspected of containing a small uranium conversion facility that is functionally related to the covert reactor at al-Kibar that the Israel Air Force destroyed in September 2007.
According to the newspaper and a subsequent analysis of satellite footage by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), the facility is reportedly intended for processing uranium yellowcake into uranium tetrafluoride (UF4), and could have been related to making fuel for the reactor destroyed in 2007.
Barak said that Israeli intelligence and the International Atomic Energy Agency were aware of the Syrian facilities and that United Nations inspectors were working to gain access to them.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declined to comment on the reports, but Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon was quoted as warning Syrian President Bashar Assad “not to challenge us.”
Minister-without-Portfolio Yossi Peled told Israel Radio that Israel would not allow hostile countries to obtain nuclear weapons.
“Assad has already proven that he has negative intentions,” Ya’alon said on the sidelines of an IDF memorial service. “We know him as someone who is connected to Iran on one side and Hezbollah on the other.”