The Bush administration confirmed that Israel hit a non-peaceful nuclear target in Syria last Sept. 6.
“Until Sept. 6, 2007, the Syrian regime was building a covert nuclear reactor in its eastern desert capable of producing plutonium,” said the statement issued by the White House Thursday afternoon. “We are convinced, based on a variety of information, that North Korea assisted Syria’s covert nuclear activities. We have good reason to believe that reactor, which was damaged beyond repair on Sept. 6 of last year, was not intended for peaceful purposes.”
The statement came after administration officials briefed the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on the attack.
House Republicans have been seeking confirmation of the hit for months in a bid to bolster arguments for further isolating Syria and North Korea. Israel has strongly resisted releasing such information, both because it prefers to maintain deniability on such attacks and because some Israeli officials want to keep open avenues for peace talks with Syria.