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Israel would have a tough time significantly damaging Iran’s nuclear facilities from the air, according to Newsweek.

In its Periscope section now online and to be published Monday in its Nov. 3 issue, the magazine quotes “Western intelligence experts”as saying that the nuclear facilities are too deep underground for an Israeli air attack to be effective.

AWestern official who requested anonymity told Newsweek the facilities are located in tunnels and fortified by barriers more than 60 feet thick. The official, as well as other U.S. experts, said that Israel does not possess conventional weapons capable of knocking out the facilities. Breaking through the thick shell would require, at minimum, several bunker-buster bombs striking precisely the same spot, Newsweek reported.

Newsweek suggested that Israel could do more damage against Iranian nuclear facilities located at four key sites with a nuclear strike of its own. But the magazine adds, “U.S. and other Western experts say there is no reason to believe the Israelis will abandon their policy against shooting first with nukes.”

The magazine also reported that efforts by the United States and its allies to keep tabs on the Iranian nuclear program suffered a blow recently when Germany accidentally arrested one of their own Iranian-Canadian informants, code-named Sinbad, for illegal missile-technology shipments to Iran in what has been called the Sinbad Affair.

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