Watch The Now-Declassified Moment Israel Neutralized Syria's Nuclear Reactor


After more than a decade of silence, the Israeli military censor has finally allowed publication of the details and official confirmation of the successful attack on Syria's nuclear reactor on the night of September 5, 2007.

Known as Operation Orchard (or 'Operation Outside the Box' in Hebrew), the attack was the culmination of several years of precise intelligence gathering by the Mossad and the IDF Intelligence Corps, which first suspected in 2004 that President Assad was secretly developing a nuclear option. In early 2006, intelligence first provided solid evidence that Assad was building a reactor.

By 2007, the intelligence collected by Israel indicated that the Syrians, with the assistance of North Korea, had built a gas-cooled, graphite-moderated reactor that was capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium. The reactor was located in the northern Syrian desert, 450 kilometers north of Damascus, near the city of Deir Ezzor. The reactor had been connected by a pipeline to the Euphrates River and was disguised as an experimental farm.

Screenshot taken from video material released on March 21, 2018, which the Israeli military describes as an Israeli air strike on a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site on September 5, 2007Israeli Defense Forces

Then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had informed U.S. President George W. Bush about the nuclear reactor and urged the US to attack but the Americans had refused, saying they preferred a solution through diplomacy. There was also a dispute between Olmert and his then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak who was reportedly foot-dragging over the operation. However, Barak claims he delayed the operation so that the Israel Air Force could mount the best possible orchestrated attack.

Finally, on the night of September 5, Israel struck. Eight combat jets (four F-15s and four F-16s) flew in low to avoid Syrian radar and dropped 17 tons of explosives on the reactor, which was completely destroyed. All the planes returned safely to base.

Some details of the operation have been reported abroad, most notably due to the leaks by former CIA operative Edward Snowden. However, Israel refrained from announcing the operation at the time for fear that Syria, which was a much stronger country before the civil war began, might retaliate aggressively.


©2018 the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


After more than a decade and billions spent developing the consistently troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Air Force is eyeing a new variant of the F-15 — much to lawmakers' dismay.

Read More Show Less
Islamic state members walk in the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria February 18, 2019. (Reuters/Rodi Said)

NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - The Islamic State appeared closer to defeat in its last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday, as a civilian convoy left the besieged area where U.S.-backed forces estimate a few hundred jihadists are still holed up.

Read More Show Less
Russian President Vladimir Putin fires a fortress cannon. (Associated Press/Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin)

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that Russia will target the U.S. with new weapons should Washington decide to deploy intermediate-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to Europe following the recent death of a Cold War-era arms control agreement, according to multiple reports.

He threatened to target not only the host countries where U.S. missiles might be stationed but also decision-making centers in the U.S.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing walk to waiting family members and friends after stepping off of a C-130J Super Hercules at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 17, 2018 (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Air Force has issued new guidelines for active-duty, reserve and National Guard airmen who are considered non-deployable, and officials will immediately begin flagging those who have been unable to deploy for 12 consecutive months for separation consideration.

Read More Show Less
Pictured left to right: Pedro Pascal ("Catfish"), Garrett Hedlund ("Ben"), Charlie Hunnam ("Ironhead"), and Ben Affleck ("Redfly") Photo Courtesy of Netflix

A new trailer for Netflix's Triple Frontier dropped last week, and it looks like a gritty mash-up of post-9/11 war dramas Zero Dark Thirty and Hurt Locker and crime thrillers Narcos and The Town.

Read More Show Less