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Israel briefed U.S. on Syria strike

Israel has kept the United States informed about its mysterious airstrike in Syria last year, Ehud Olmert said.

The Israeli prime minister, who like the rest of his government has refused to provide details of the Sept. 6 bombing run that is widely assumed to have targeted a Syrian nuclear facility, said Wednesday that the Bush administration is privy.

“Issues related to this subject were presented to the U.S. government by the defense minister and myself,” Olmert told reporters without elaborating.

Israeli media have reported that U.S. intelligence assessments on the airstrike could become public during an upcoming debate in the U.S. House of Representatives’ foreign affairs committee.

Those who believe the Syrians were trying to develop a secret nuclear facility say Damascus may have had help from North Korea, a regime under intense U.S. scrutiny.

Some Israeli pundits have suggested that Olmert differs with his defense minister, Ehud Barak, on whether to go public on the operation. Olmert denied this.

“Everything to do with these issues was precisely formulated between myself and the defense minister,” he said. “We conduct lengthy and elaborate discussions, and in the end we formulate a joint policy.”

 

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