Israeli Military Launches Operation Orchard

September 6, 2007

In Operation Orchard, Israel secretly destroys a reactor at Al Kibar, a Syrian military facility thought to be a nuclear site constructed with the help of North Koreans.

In March 2007, a secret Mossad raid on the home of the head of Syria’s Atomic energy Commission in Vienna revealed information about a Syrian nuclear reactor in northeast Syria on the Euphrates River. After months of secret discussions with the Bush administration and key Israeli leadership, including former Prime Ministers, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert authorized the secret mission to destroy the alleged nuclear site.

Eight aircraft flew north along the Syria and Turkey border and shortly before 1:00 AM, destroyed the facility.

The above photo shows a before and after aerial view of the suspected nuclear facility.

Two terrific pieces about Operation Orchard:

David Makovsky, Ziegler distinguished fellow and director of The Washington Institute’s Project on the Middle East Peace Process in “The Silent Strike,” from the New Yorker in September 2012.

Elliott Abrams, senior fellow in Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in “Bombing the Syrian Reactor: The Untold Story,” for Commentary in February 2013.