Israel ødelægger Iraks atomreaktor - historie

Israel ødelægger Iraks atomreaktor - historie

Israelske jagerbomber startede et luftangreb mod Iraks atomreaktor. Da den irakiske reaktor snart var planlagt at gå online. Irak fastholdt et oplagt program til at bygge atomvåben. Den israelske regering frygtede, at et sådant våben ville blive brugt mod Israel. De tog præventive skridt til at ødelægge reaktoren og forstyrre Iraks plan om at blive en atomkraft.

I 2007 ødelagde Israel Syrien 's atomreaktor (og atombomdrømme)

Strejken mod Syrien var sandsynligvis ikke afgørende for at forhindre Syrien i at få et atomvåben, programmet var et langskud fra begyndelsen, og efter al sandsynlighed ville det være slut ved begyndelsen af ​​den syriske borgerkrig.

Her er hvad du skal huske: Det er nok en god ting, at Israel ødelagde stedet, da det gjorde, ISIS tog kontrollen over stedet i 2014. Hvis der havde været noget tilbage, kunne resultatet have været frygteligt.

Den 6. september 2007 ødelagde israelske jagerbombere en mystisk installation nær Eufratfloden i Deir-ez-Zor-regionen. Strejken fik mærkeligt lidt respons fra Damaskus. Et cyberangreb havde angiveligt foregået en defensiv syrisk militær mobilisering, og selv det diplomatiske ramaskrig blev dæmpet. Ingen andre arabiske regeringer kommenterede angrebet, og selv israelerne anerkendte ikke operationen i et godt stykke tid.

At ødelægge anlægget blev ikke betragtet som en slam-dunk-beslutning, hverken i Israel eller USA. Angst over styrken af ​​efterretningen i kølvandet på Irak -debaklen var sidstnævntes hånd, mens bekymring for international tilbagekaldelse, for ikke at nævne en syrisk militær reaktion, bekymrede førstnævnte. Hvad hvis køligere hoveder havde båret dagen, og Israel aldrig havde gennemført strejken?

Nukleare fremskridt

Det er svært at vurdere, hvor langt Syrien ville have været fra at udvikle et atomvåben, hvis dets indsats var gået uhindret. Selvom vi måske aldrig har den fulde historie om Syriens interesse i et atomprogram, stammede det sandsynligvis fra det voksende hul i konventionelle kapaciteter mellem Syrien og Israel samt USA's invasion af Irak. Selvom Syrien altid har benægtet, at installationen var en del af et atomprogram, bekræftede International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) senere, at stedet syntes at være en atomreaktor.

Der er lidt tvivl om, at Syriens program var rudimentært i forhold til Iran eller Nordkoreas programmer. Det er imidlertid helt muligt, at Syrien faktisk kunne have påberåbt sig teknisk bistand fra begge lande, det er meget sandsynligt, at Nordkorea leverede teknisk bistand til udviklingen af ​​reaktoren ved Eufrat. Men Damaskus ville have været nødt til at mestre en række tekniske udfordringer, og intet tyder på, at syrisk økonomisk infrastruktur var klar til udfordringen med at styre de meget alvorlige industrielle og flaskehalse, som den ville have stødt på. Selvom den syriske økonomi er større end Nordkoreas, er den mere afhængig af udvinding af ressourcer, hvilket gør den mindre i stand til at klare de tekniske udfordringer i forbindelse med nukleare omdrejninger. Syrien mangler også den enorme olierigdom, som både Iran og Irak nyder under deres atomdrev.

Det blev klart efter ødelæggelsen af ​​kassen, at Assad ikke var forpligtet til at betale de nødvendige omkostninger til at udvikle atomvåben. I modsætning til Irak og Iran gjorde Damaskus en lille indsats for at sprede og hærde atomfaciliteter. I betragtning af Syriens nærhed til Israel er det faktisk svært at forestille sig, hvordan nogen i landet troede, at projektet kunne gå uopdaget. Som Anthony Cordesman har argumenteret for, ville atomprogrammet have været ekstraordinært sårbart på flere punkter i dets udvikling.

Dette tyder på, at den bureaukratiske politik i atomprogrammet var kompliceret, og at Syrien måske ikke var gået igennem med dens udvikling, selv uden strejken. Ikke desto mindre mente Israel, at selv den fjerne mulighed for et atomkraftigt Syrien var værd at begrænse, og at strejkerne ville have den ekstra fordel at forstærke Begin -doktrinen.

Det arabiske forår

Under alle omstændigheder er det yderst usandsynligt, at selv et uberørt Syrien med succes kunne have udviklet et atomvåben i begyndelsen af ​​det arabiske forår. Begyndelsen af ​​den syriske borgerkrig beskattede Assad -regimet så dyrt, at det er usandsynligt, at det ville have fortsat et atomprogram. Ville krigens karakter have ændret sig, hvis Syrien stadig aktivt havde forfulgt atomvåben? Krigen udviklede sig til en vis grad ud fra forventningen om vestlig intervention. Antiregimestyrker tog risici og indgik forpligtelser ud af håbet om, at USA og Europa ville optrappe med aktiv militær støtte. Vesten tilbød retorisk støtte til at vælte Assad, men kun begrænset og målt militær bistand til anti-regimestyrker.

Det er klart, at selve programmet ikke ville have afskrækket Vesten, det kunne ikke have produceret et levedygtigt våben i 2011. Kendskab til et eksisterende atomprogram kunne dog have reduceret Assads status i Vesten endnu mere, hvilket potentielt kunne gøre intervention mere attraktiv. Desuden ville programmet formentlig have opnået en vis teknisk succes med hensyn til produktion af plutonium, udviklingen af ​​tilhørende atomteknologier og uddannelse af en kadre af forskere og ingeniører. Netop denne succes kunne have gjort Vesten nervøs - måske nervøs nok til at føre en mere selvhævdende politik mod Assad -regimet.

Spørgsmålet er, hvilken indflydelse krigen kan have haft på den viden og infrastruktur, der er udviklet omkring programmet, og hvordan ingeniører og materialer kan have fundet vej til ISIS eller andre oprørsgrupper. ISIS overtog kontrollen over stedet i 2014, selvom den syriske regering sandsynligvis ville have forsvaret det mere kraftigt, hvis en aktiv reaktor var blevet tilbage. ISIS ville ikke have været i stand til at konstruere et brugbart våben, og enten ville USA eller Syrien sandsynligvis have ødelagt faciliteter før de faldt i gruppens hænder - men det ville stadig have været grund til bekymring. Og selvom ISIS ikke kunne have brugt ekspertisen eller udstyret direkte, havde det måske også forsøgt at eksportere med farlige konsekvenser. Under alle omstændigheder erobrede kræfter, der var venlige over for USA, området i 2017.

Strejken mod Syrien var sandsynligvis ikke afgørende for at forhindre Syrien i at få et atomvåben, programmet var et langskud fra begyndelsen, og efter al sandsynlighed ville det være slut ved begyndelsen af ​​den syriske borgerkrig. Strejken var dog med til at bekræfte den regionale fornemmelse af israelsk militær magt efter mislykkedes i krigen mod Hizbollah og overbeviste utvivlsomt også både Washington og Teheran om, at Israel ville overveje at bruge militær magt til at forhindre Iran i at erhverve atomvåben. Dette informerede igen forhandlingsstrategierne for alle parterne i JCPOA, som fortsat styrer Irans forhold til det internationale samfund. Om denne arv vil overleve 2018 er stadig i tvivl.

Robert Farley, en hyppig bidragyder til TNI, er forfatter til Slagskibsbogen. Han fungerer som universitetslektor ved Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce ved University of Kentucky. Hans arbejde omfatter militærlære, national sikkerhed og maritime anliggender. Han blogger kl Advokater, våben og penge og Informationsformidling og Diplomaten.


Fra fordømmelse til ros: Hvorfor Israels bombning af Irak og#8217s Osirak atomreaktor står tidstest

Forestil dig dette: Det er august 1990. Saddam Hussein, Iraks diktator, begynder at handle på sin plan for verdensherredømme ved at invadere Kuwait. Milliarder rundt om i verden skal sidde stille og se, hvordan Hussein overtager land efter land, fordi de ved, at Hussein vil frigive sine atomvåben mod enhver nation, der forsøger at stoppe ham.

Heldigvis blev dette mareridt scenario aldrig realiseret.

USA var i stand til at lede en international koalition for at skubbe Iraks væbnede styrker ud af Kuwait i Den Persiske Golfkrig i 1991, og Husseins ekspansionisme gik i stå.

Men denne diktator kunne kun forhindres i at gennemføre sine vanvittige planer på grund af et land: Israel.

Deltag i kampen for Israels retfærdige dækning i nyhederne

Tidslinje: fra diplomati til luftangreb

Irak havde etableret et atomprogram i løbet af 1960'erne, og i midten af ​​1970'erne ønskede man at udvide det gennem anskaffelsen af ​​en atomreaktor. Til dette formål købte Irak en atomreaktor fra Frankrig i 1976. Beliggende 17 kilometer sydøst for den irakiske hovedstad Bagdad blev Osirak -reaktoren straks anerkendt af israelske embedsmænd for at udgøre en alvorlig trussel mod Israel og verden.

En atomreaktor i hænderne på en diktator som Saddam Hussein præsenterede et øjeblikkeligt og alvorligt dilemma. Israels udenrigsminister Moshe Dayan indledte diplomatiske bestræbelser med Frankrig, men kunne ikke modtage forsikringer om, at reaktorprogrammet ville blive standset. Derudover formåede Israel ikke at overbevise den franske regering om at stoppe med at yde bistand til det irakiske atomprogram.

Når først diplomatisk indsats mislykkedes, konkluderede den israelske premierminister Menachem Begin, at Israel skulle tage militære aktioner. I 1979 plantede israelske hemmelige agenter en bombe, der ødelagde reaktorens første sæt kernestrukturer, da de blev forberedt på at blive sendt til Irak. Israel engagerede sig i yderligere hemmelige bestræbelser på at forsøge at sætte det irakiske atomprogram tilbage.

Men i oktober 1980 rapporterede israelsk efterretningstjeneste, at reaktorerne i juni 1981 ville være fuldt operationelle, hvorefter atomvåben kunne udvikles. Mens de tidligste skøn for Irak at kunne få en atombombe var et år eller to senere, var Begin bekymret over, at forsinkelse af angrebet, indtil reaktoren var fuldt operationel, kunne føre til dødelige doser af radioaktiv forurening, der nåede Bagdad og dræbte uskyldige civile.

Begin beordrede således Israel Air Force til at bombe reaktoren den 7. juni 1981. Israel valgte at bombe en søndag, en fridag for udenlandske arbejdere og konsulenter, for at reducere antallet af tilskadekomne. Det israelske luftangreb fra Osirak blev kendt som Operation Opera.

Fjorten israelske jagerfly fløj 1.600 kilometer for at nå deres mål. Mens de flyvede gennem det jordanske luftrum, talte piloterne på arabisk med arabisk accent og fortalte de jordanske luftcontrollere, at de var saudier på en rutinemæssig patrulje, der var afvejet fra kurs. Da de derefter fløj gennem det saudiarabiske luftrum, lod piloterne som om de var jordanere.

Israeli Air Force F-16A Netz � ’, fly fløjet af oberst Ilan Ramon i Operation Opera. Dette var den ottende og sidste til at tabe sine bomber på reaktoren. (Wikimedia commons)

Da de nåede Irak, smed jagerflyene 16 bomber på reaktoren i løbet af to minutter, undgik luftfartsbrand og vendte sikkert tilbage til Israel.

Selvom Irak lovede at genopbygge reaktoren, trak Frankrig i sidste ende ud af projektet i 1984, og anlægget blev aldrig repareret.

Israels "klare krænkelse" af international adfærd

FN vedtog to resolutioner, der irettesatte Israel for angrebet. FN's Sikkerhedsråds resolution 487, vedtaget den 19. juni 1981, fordømte angrebet som en "klar overtrædelse af FN's pagt og normerne for international adfærd." USA stemte for beslutningen. Den 13. november 1981 vedtog FNs generalforsamling resolution 36/27, hvor han kritiserede Israel for den "overlagte og hidtil usete aggression", og krævede, at Israel kompenserede Irak for de skader og tab af liv, som angrebene forårsagede.

Begge resolutioner opfordrede Israel til at afstå fra denne slags angreb i fremtiden. USAs præsident Ronald Reagan skrev i sin dagbog, at han troede, at det israelske angreb ville føre til "Armageddon" og USA's ambassadør i FN Jean Kirkpatrick sammenlignede Israels angreb med den sovjetiske invasion af Afghanistan.

New York Times kaldte angrebet "en handling af utilgivelig og kortsigtet aggression." Los Angeles Times gik endnu længere og kaldte det "statsstøttet terrorisme."

Mange af Israels kritikere pegede på, at Irak havde underskrevet traktaten om ikke-spredning af atomvåben, der satte reaktoren under overvågning af International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), hvilket ville forhindre landet i at bruge reaktoren til at udvikle atomvåben.

USA: At bombe Osirak var en god ting

Men Roger Richter, en tidligere IAEA -inspektør, sagde til United States Senates Foreign Relations Committee, at de mest følsomme faciliteter i reaktoren ikke var omfattet af nogen sikkerhedsforanstaltninger. Mens Irak og Frankrig insisterede på, at reaktoren var konstrueret til fredelige formål, rapporterede SRATFOR, et privat amerikansk efterretningsagentur, at Osirak -reaktoren forud for Israels angreb "antages at være på nippet til at producere plutonium til et våbenprogram."

(Foto: Wikimedia commons)

Ganske bemærkelsesværdigt, mens Israels angreb forlod reaktoren lamslået, men stadig stod, ødelagde koalitionsstyrker under ledelse af USA's luftvåben reaktoren fuldstændigt under Den Persiske Golfkrig i 1991. Efter den krig takkede USA's forsvarsminister Dick Cheney den israelske pilot, der befalede den israelske mission for "det fremragende job", som Israels luftvåben udførte i 1981.

Den amerikanske præsident Bill Clinton sagde dette på World Economic Forum i Davos i 2005 om det israelske angreb på Iraks atomreaktor: ”Alle taler om, hvad israelerne gjorde i Osirak i 1981, hvilket jeg efterfølgende synes var en rigtig god ting. Du ved, det forhindrede Saddam i at udvikle atomkraft. ”

Hele episoden - fra den vanskelige beslutning om at bombe Osirak -reaktoren, til den internationale fordømmelse, til taknemmeligheden et årti senere – har forstærket Israels doktrin til ikke at blive holdt tilbage af sandsynlig fordømmelse på verdensplan og handle, selv med stor risiko, når den identificerer reel og nuværende fare for sine mennesker og dens overlevelse.

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35 år efter husker IAF -piloter, at de havde en dristig mission om at bombe Saddams atomreaktor

35 år efter Operation Opera-det israelske luftangreb, der ødelagde atomreaktoren i Saddam Hussein ved Osirak, afslørede pensionerede IAF-officerer og Mossad-agenter hidtil ukendte detaljer om operationen fredag.

I en eksponering, der blev sendt på Kanal 10, sagde oberst (Ret.) Ze'ev Raz, der ledte razziaen den 7. juni 1981, at luftvåbnets teknikere “anerkendte, at det at flyve til Irak og tilbage ” — omkring 2.000 miles i all — var lidt uden for rækkevidden af ​​vores jetfly, så vi brugte alle mulige tricks til at udvide det. ”

Det israelske luftvåben kunne ikke stole på amerikanske flyvende tankskibsfly til tankning på midten af ​​flyvningen på det tidspunkt, og israelske tankningskapaciteter, der så var undervejs, ville ikke være operationelle før i 1982, hvorefter intelligensvurderinger var, at atomreaktoren ville gå online.

Strejken kunne ikke forsinkes, og derfor blev der introduceret innovative metoder til at få brændstoffet til at holde sidste. Alle otte F-16A'er gjorde det sikkert tilbage selv 35 år senere, men detaljerne om, hvordan de gjorde det, blev holdt hemmelige.

Operationen blev oprindeligt kaldt “Ammunition Hill, ”, men da premierminister Menachem Begin indså, at oppositionsleder Shimon Peres havde fået at vide om operationen, beordrede han den aflyst — og dens fortsættelse under et nyt navn.

"Vi skrev senere nøjagtig den samme operationelle kommando, men denne gang med navnet 'Opera', valgt tilfældigt af computeren," sagde pensioneret generalmajor David Ivry, dengang IAF -chef, i fredagens rapport.

Ivry sagde, at de første tegn på, at irakerne byggede en atomreaktor var blevet set i 1976 eller 1977.

Gad Shimron, en tidligere Mossad -agent, sagde, at Israel i disse år havde intern efterretning om irakernes bestræbelser på at købe udstyr i udlandet og deres planer om at bygge en reaktor. Det oprindelige efterretningsmål var at forsinke færdiggørelsen af ​​reaktoren og at undersøge, om en færdig, online irakisk reaktor ville have den teknologi, der er nødvendig til produktion af plutonium.

Shimron sagde, at Mossad indsamlede store mængder information om udviklingen af ​​Osirak -reaktorens konstruktion. "Du behøver ikke at være en efterretningsekspert for at forstå, at hvis du har et projekt i Irak med flere dusin udenlandske eksperter, så vil spionagenturer interesseret i at finde ud af, hvad der foregår, forsøge at rekruttere [dem]," sagde Shimron. "Det siger sig selv, at der var nogen indeni, der gav oplysninger."

Ivry sagde, at Mossads arbejde forsinkede færdiggørelsen af ​​den irakiske reaktor med op til to et halvt år.

Optagelser fra israelsk luftvåben taget under angrebet på Osirak:

Shimron mindede om, at reaktorens første kerne, klar til forsendelse i den lille havn i La Seyne-sur-Mer i det sydøstlige Frankrig, eksploderede under "mystiske" omstændigheder og blev beskadiget uden reparation.

Ilan Ramon, der blev Israels første astronaut, og som omkom i Columbia -shuttle -katastrofen i 2003, var på det tidspunkt en ung, enlig navigationsofficer. Da tiden kom til at ramme Osirak, var han manden, der havde til opgave at forberede kortene og undersøge, om de jetfly, IAF havde på det tidspunkt, kunne foretage hjemrejsen.

Ivry sagde, at han troede, at jetflyene let kunne komme til Irak og kunne ramme reaktoren, problemet vendte tilbage i live.

Arye Naor, Begin ’s regeringssekretær, sagde, at premierministeren var fast besluttet på at ramme den irakiske reaktor "selvom det var det sidste, han gjorde som premierminister."

Vurderingen, sagde Naor, var, at "en eller to jetfly ikke ville vende tilbage."

Forud for strejken fik piloterne, der var planlagt at deltage i missionen, overdraget irakisk valuta, hvis de blev strandet på irakisk jord og skulle flygte.

Efter at operationen var blevet udskudt en gang, timede Ivry den til en søndag og regnede med, at de franske atomeksperter, der arbejdede på stedet, ville have deres ugentlige fridag. Piloterne blev instrueret i at undgå hundekamp med Iraks sovjetfremstillede MiG-jetfly, hvis der var civile flyvemaskiner i nærheden af ​​den planlagte rute, der passerede ikke langt fra irakiske civile flys flyveveje.

Ramon, den yngste pilot på missionen, sagde i et interview kort efter hjemkomsten: ”Du ved, det kan ende på to måder, det kan ende med, at der ikke rigtig sker noget, og alle vender tilbage, eller det kan ende med, at en eller flere bliver der.

”Vi tog derhen som en konvoj til sidst. Så den første-de ser den anden-de retter den tredje-de nuller ind, og den fjerde bliver skudt [af luftværskanoner]. ”

Ramon var den sidste pilot i konvojen - den ottende i to kvartetter jetfly.

"Alle ved, at den sidste er den, der risikerer mest," sagde Raz. »Det er som en flok antiloper, der bliver jagtet af en tiger. Fyrene gjorde grin med [Ramon] og sagde, at det var ham, der ville blive opfanget. Så han var stresset … Han havde heller ingen erfaring [Ramon havde aldrig før skudt en bombe på en live -mission], men han opererede meget godt, og han ramte sit mål. ”

"Han var en fin pilot og en stor jagerfly," sagde Raz.

Moshe Melnick, der ledede en dannelse af aflytningsfly, der fulgte med angrebsstrålene, sagde, at piloterne var blevet bedt om at meddele via kommunikationssystemet efter at have forladt målet, at de var i god behold.

”En af dem, jeg tror, ​​det var Ilan Ramon, var sent med at annoncere på kommisserne, og der var lange sekunders stilhed. Vi var alle bekymrede et øjeblik, men så tog han kontakt, ”huskede Melnick.

Bombningen af ​​reaktoren blev fordømt af det internationale samfund. Frankrig var især rasende efter at have investeret store summer i sin konstruktion.

Men Ivry mindede om, at den daværende amerikanske udenrigsminister Dick Cheney i 1991 gav ham et sort-hvidt luftfoto af den bombede reaktor i ruiner. Cheney skrev på billedet: "Det gjorde vores arbejde meget lettere." Den stille, ikke-offentlige gestus blev foretaget efter afslutningen af ​​den første Golfkrig.

Begin sagde i en offentlig erklæring, efter at operationen blev afsluttet med succes: ”Beslutningen om at bombe atomreaktoren i Irak blev taget for mange måneder siden, og der var mange forhindringer. Der var også mange overvejelser, men vi nåede endelig til et stadium, hvor vi vidste, at hvis vi ikke kunne handle nu, ville det være for sent. ”

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Israels bombardement af atomreaktoren i Irak i 1981 kan have givet næring til Saddams atomambitioner

For fire årtier siden sneg en eskadre af israelske jagerfly på en hemmelig mission over det saudiarabiske luftrum og slog ind for at ødelægge et irakisk atomreaktorsted, der blev bygget af franske og italienske ingeniører lige uden for Bagdad. Det var et overraskelsesangreb, der blev hyldet af Israels forsvarere og nævnt som et eksempel på effektiv derring-do, der viste, hvordan rå militær magt kunne tjene som et redskab til våbenkontrol.

Men en skare af tidligere hemmelige amerikanske dokumenter, der blev frigivet mandag af en Washington -organisation, tyder kraftigt på, at Iraks atomambitioner allerede i hemmelighed var indeholdt af europæerne, der byggede den bombede forskningsreaktor i Osirak. Desuden kan angrebet den 7. juni 1981 faktisk have tilskyndet den irakiske hersker Saddam Hussein til at intensivere sin søgen efter masseødelæggelsesvåben.

Dokumenterne, der blev indhentet af Washington-baserede National Security Archive gennem anmodninger om frihedsinformation, omfatter Det Hvide Hus, Udenrigsministeriet og CIA-kabler, der opsummerer vigtige diplomatiske og politiske interaktioner, der gik forud for angrebet. De viser også forsøg fra amerikanske embedsmænd på at kæmpe med efterspillet.

Mindst 10 irakiske soldater og en fransk civil blev dræbt i det israelske angreb.

Dokumenterne, hentet og offentliggjort som en del af et projekt for gennemsigtighedsforkæmpelse, som George Washington University var vært for, frigives på et tidspunkt, hvor Israel forsøger at samle nationer mod Irans atomprogram.

I flere uger i Wien har USA og andre verdensmagter forsøgt at genoplive en atomvåben-ikke-spredningsaftale med Iran, der blev saboteret af den tidligere amerikanske præsident Donald Trump. Israel er imod en tilbagevenden til aftalen.

Frankrig havde længe insisteret på, at designet til det atomkraftværk, det byggede, gjorde det umuligt at eftermontere for at producere fissilt materiale til en bombe. Men et meget følsomt dokument i trove siger, at Paris var gået endnu længere.

Det beretter for første gang om et møde i Paris den 25. juli 1980 mellem amerikanske diplomater og en højtstående fransk ikke-spredningsembedsmand-der insisterede på absolut hemmeligholdelse-om irakbundne forsendelser af uran.

Embedsmanden sagde, at materialerne var blevet hemmeligt kemisk ændret for at gøre dem ubrugelige til våbenbrug.

"Han understregede de forholdsregler, de har og tager," siger Udenrigsministeriets kabel. "De befinder sig imidlertid i et dilemma, da de ikke er i stand til at beskrive nogle af de forholdsregler, de tager, i betragtning af at irakerne selv ikke var klar over nogle af de forebyggende foranstaltninger, som franskmændene tager."

Det vigtigste skridt, franskmændene havde taget, var at forudbestråle alt beriget uran, det ville sende til Irak, hvilket gjorde det "ikke brugbart som våbenmateriale", står der i dokumentet.

Andre mindre kontroversielle forholdsregler omfattede kun at tillade en overførsel af uran til reaktoren ad gangen, til enhver tid opretholde en fransk tilstedeværelse i Osirak og sørge for, at franske teknikere overvågede det berigede uran, mens de blev transporteret

Men et dokument markeret hemmeligt tyder på, at der var bekymring for, at italienske og franske entreprenører konkurrerede om at sælge våben til Irak. Der var bekymringer for, at især Italien ville forsøge at forsøde enhver aftale ved at inkludere avanceret atomteknologi som en del af sine tilbud.

Dage efter krigen mellem Iran og Irak begyndte irakiske væbnede styrker at sværme ind på Osirak-stedet og tilføje flere bekymringer om Bagdads ultimative hensigter.

“Er franske embedsmænd stadig på stedet, og har de adgang til brændstoffet der? Hvad er status for brændstoffet? ” et 11. oktober 1980 krævede det amerikanske udenrigsministeriums kabel fra Washington til Paris.

Andre dokumenter peger på bekymringer fra amerikanske embedsmænd om, at Irak skurede jorden rundt efter følsomt nukleart materiale.

Den 20. januar 1981 overtog en ny administration i Washington under præsident Ronald Reagan. Der er et hul i dokumenterne, der kan tyde på, at den nye administration ikke forstod sagens hastende karakter og de involverede indsatser.

Dokumenterne viser, hvor bekymrede amerikanske embedsmænd dengang ikke kun handlede om irakiske våbenforfølgelser, men også om muligheden for, at Israel kunne fremprovokere en større krig ved at angribe Osirak. På det tidspunkt blev USA betragtet som langt mere en neutral voldgiftsmand mellem Israel og arabiske stater, end det er nu. Saudiske embedsmænd fortalte amerikanerne, at de var rasende over, at Israel havde brugt sit territorium til at nå Irak, med israelske piloter, der fejlagtigt signalerede, at de var jordanske.

En saudisk embedsmand, hvis navn blev redigeret, fortalte en amerikansk pendant, "dette er en af ​​de farligste situationer, Saudi -Arabien nogensinde har stået over for. Det er en fornærmelse mod både Saudi-Arabien og USA og sætter saudierne i en pinlig situation over for andre arabere, «ifølge referatet af et møde i Det Hvide Hus, som National Security Archive opnåede.

Washington krævede svar fra Israel om specifik efterretningstjeneste, der havde, at der blev udført våbenarbejde i Osirak, men Israel reagerede kun med vage værst tænkelige scenarier, ifølge et dokument fra National Security Council. Amerikanske embedsmænd kunne ikke finde beviser på, at israelere påstod en "hemmelig bunker" under Osirak, der skulle bruges til våbenarbejde.

Reagan reagerede i begyndelsen hårdt på angrebet og suspenderede nogle våbensalg til Israel og samarbejdede med Irak om at udstede en FN -fordømmelse.

Men andre embedsmænd trak sig tilbage. Et notat udarbejdet til præsidenten af ​​den neokonservative embedsmand i Det Hvide Hus, Douglas Feith, der 22 år senere opstod som en af ​​de vigtigste arkitekter for USA's invasion af Irak i 2003, gav Reagans forgænger Jimmy Carter skylden for krisen og opfordrede administrationen til ikke at kritisere Israels daværende premierminister Menachem Begin.

"Dine offentlige udtalelser skal være indrammet med raidets diplomatiske baggrund, så de ikke uretmæssigt modarbejder Israel," står der.

Irak, der har underskrevet traktaten om ikke-spredning, var forpligtet til at åbne sine atomfaciliteter for inspektion af Det Internationale Atomenergiorganisation. Men det israelske angreb på Osirak sammen med den igangværende krig, der derefter rasede mellem Iran og Irak, afsluttede det irakiske samarbejde med europæiske atomfirmaer og drev programmet under jorden.

En klassificeret vurdering fra udenrigsministeriets efterretningstjeneste sagde, at selvom angrebet på Osirak muligvis har sat Iraks atomprogram tilbage, kan det have gjort mere skade end gavn og præcist forudsige et årlangt forsøg fra Irak på at unddrage sig inspektører og forfølge massevåben ødelæggelse. Internationale inspektører blev chokeret et årti senere over Iraks hemmelige fremskridt med atom- og kemiske våben efter USA-ledede Golfkrig i 1991.

"Bomberingen satte midlertidigt Iraks atomforskningsprogram tilbage, der sigtede mod en våbenmulighed, ved at begrænse dets adgang til materiel og teknologisk bistand," lød vurderingen 17. august 1981.

"Razziaen kan dog have øget Iraks interesse for i sidste ende at erhverve atomvåbenkapacitet."


EKSKLUSIV: Mød den eneste levende israelske premierminister, der nogensinde har beordret IDF til at ødelægge en udenlandsk atomreaktor

TEL AVIV - Israel er det eneste land i verden, der nogensinde har brugt militær magt til at ødelægge et fjendtligt lands atomprogram.

Og Israel har gjort det ikke én gang, men to gange.

Første gang var præcis 40 år siden i denne måned, da daværende premierminister Menachem Begin beordrede IDF til at bombe Osirak-atomreaktoren i Irak den 7. juni 1981.

Anden gang var den 6. september 2007, da daværende premierminister Ehud Olmert beordrede IDF til at bombe atomreaktoren Al Kibar i det nordøstlige Syrien.

Kan Israel blive tvunget til at træffe sådanne foranstaltninger for tredje gang mod Irans alvorlige og voksende atomprogram?

Jeg beder svaret er nej, men chancen for et sådant angreb vokser faktisk.

Tidligere på ugen, den iranske regering pralede at den allerede havde produceret 6,5 kilo - cirka 14 pund - 60% beriget uran.

Dette er en direkte krænkelse af atomaftalen med Iran - kendt som Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - som kun tillader Iran at berige uran op til 3,5%.

Det bringer også det iranske regime farligt tæt på at kunne producere uran af atomvåben med 90% berigelse.

Situationen bliver mere og mere farlig, udenrigsminister Tony Blinken fortalt Medlemmer af kongressen tidligere på måneden.

"Irans program galoperer fremad," sagde Blinken. ”Jo længere det varer, jo mere bliver nedbrudstiden. det er nu i bedste fald nede ved offentlige rapporter til et par måneder. Og hvis dette fortsætter, vil det komme ned på et par uger. ”

Høje israelske embedsmænd - nuværende og tidligere - fortæller mig på baggrund, at selvom de værdsætter det faktum, at Biden -regeringen erkender, hvor farlig truslen mod Iran bliver, er de i stigende grad bekymrede for, at Biden Hvide Hus og udenrigsministeriet mener, at de kan overtale Teheran at tilslutte sig JCPOA igen - eller acceptere en JCPOA 2.0 - noget israelerne mener hverken er sandsynligt eller effektivt.

Således kommer israelske nationale sikkerhedsledere modvilligt til den konklusion, at de snart kan blive tvunget til at tage ensidig militær handling for at neutralisere den iranske trussel.

"Hvis verden stopper dem før, er det meget godt," sagde forsvarsminister Benny Gantz for nylig sagde på pladen. "Men hvis ikke, skal vi stå uafhængigt, og vi skal forsvare os selv."

I denne sammenhæng ville jeg møde og interviewe Ehud Olmert, nu 75, for at forstå den indvendige historie om "Operation Outside the Box", kodenavnet givet til et af de mest hemmelighedsfulde, vovede og vellykkede militære razziaer i israelsk historie.

Hvordan lærte Olmert f.eks., At nordkoreanerne hjalp Syrias præsident Bashar al-Assad med at bygge en hemmelig atomreaktor i det nordøstlige Syrien i foråret 2007?

Hvorfor henvendte han sig først til USA's præsident George W. Bush og bad ham ødelægge reaktoren frem for at beordre IDF til at gøre det?

Hvorfor sagde Bush nej til en amerikansk militærangreb og opfordrede Olmert til i stedet at lade Washington forfølge en diplomatisk mulighed i FN?

Og hvorfor afviste Olmert Bushs tilbud og besluttede at beordre IDF til at iværksætte den ensidige strejke, der ødelagde den syriske reaktor på en enkelt nat?

I de kommende dage vil jeg dele med dig nøjagtigt, hvad Olmert fortalte mig-på rekorden-om sin beslutningsproces tilbage i 2007.

I will also share with you how he sees the Iran nuclear threat today, and what advice he would give Naftali Bennett – Israel’s new prime minister – and the new Security Cabinet who could be called upon to make such a fateful decision in the not-too-distant future.

I will also share with you what Olmert and I discussed on a wide range of other issues, from how he sees the threat posed to Israel by Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, to how he views the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

But first, some background.

COLORFUL AND CONTROVERSIAL

To be sure, Olmert is one of the most colorful and controversial figures in modern Israeli history.

He made – or helped make – enormously consequential decisions, many of which have drawn blistering criticism from Israelis, Americans and others.

In 2005, as deputy prime minister, he helped then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon unilaterally withdraw all Israeli citizens and soldiers from the Gaza Strip, without requiring the Palestinians to sign a peace treaty or make any concessions whatsoever. Since then, terrorists in Gaza have fired thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians.

In 2006, after Sharon succumbed to a terrible stroke, Olmert became prime minister and was soon embroiled in the Second Lebanon War in 2006 after a Hezbollah terror attack on the border that was blasted by a government commission for “serious failures” of leadership and planning.

In 2008, Olmert made the most sweeping – and certainly most controversial – offer of peace to the Palestinians ever made by an Israeli leader. Though the plan was ultimately rejected by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Olmert offered him a sovereign Palestinian state comprising all of the Gaza Strip, 93% of the West Bank, and half the Old City of Jerusalem, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Then, in 2012, Olmert was indicted on corruption charges including fraud, bribery and obstruction of justice. Forced to resign as prime minister, he was convicted in March 2014, and served 16 months in prison.

As I entered his Tel Aviv office and we sat down and began to get to know each other, Olmert asked me a direct and pointed question: “Don’t you Evangelicals see me as a traitor for some of the moves I made?”

In the spirit of candor, I conceded that many Evangelical Christians – myself included – deeply disagreed with a number of his decisions, though I would not use the word “traitor.”

Yet, I hastened to add that while I wanted to ask him about several of these controversial issues, the main reason I wanted to meet him was precisely because he is the only living prime minister in the history of Israel to take out an enemy’s nuclear program.

I explained that I had recently read a fascinating book by Yaakov Katz, the editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post.

It was called, Shadow Strike: Inside Israel’s Secret Mission To Eliminate Syrian Nuclear Power and it gave me a remarkable window into the single most important decision Olmert ever made in public life.

Then, a few weeks ago, I saw Olmert speak at an investment conference in Dubai.

That’s when I decided to reach out to him directly to get to know him and hear his story firsthand.

“This was not an easy decision, but you saved a lot of lives, and this is a story that more people need to know about,” I told him, “especially since Israel’s current leaders may need to use military force to take out Iran’s nuclear program in the not-too-distant future. Gud forbyde. But it might become necessary.”

“And I want to say thank you,” I told him. “I want to say thank you as an American. I want to say thank you as an Israeli, with sons who have served in the IDF. It’s not a small thing what you did [in taking out the Syrian reactor]. And I know you have taken a lot of heat for a lot of things, but this is one of the great things you have done.”

“I WAS BRUTAL IN THE DEFENSE OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL”

Dressed casually in a black t-shirt and black jeans, Olmert asked me why my family and I made aliyah.

He asked how someone named Rosenberg could be an Evangelical.

He asked the names of my four sons and about the two sons who served in the IDF, and how we have adjusted to life in Israel.

But to his credit, he did not dodge my questions, even the difficult ones.

What’s more, while he conceded he has made mistakes in his career, he was unapologetic about the decisions he made to safeguard the State of Israel.

“I want to say something to allow you to understand more accurately where I stand, when sometimes you tend to disagree with me,” Olmert said.

“When it comes to the security – and to fighting the enemies – of the State of Israel, you will not find in the modern history of my country, someone who did more than I did,” he continued. “When the Hezbollah started their attack in July of 2006, I hit back. And it probably was not understood at that time, but I think that now it is widely understood that the pain that they [Hezbollah] suffered was so, so much that for 15 years, they didn’t shoot one bullet out of Lebanon against Israel because they are still deterred and afraid of possible Israeli reaction.”

“I didn't hesitate for one second” to hit Hezbollah hard, he said.

“When Hamas was attacking Israel in the South, we did a costly operation, and we killed more Hamas people than were killed in the recent Gaza operations. A lot, a lot, a lot more,” he insisted.

“I was brutal in the defense of the State of Israel without any hesitation, without any excuses, without any explanations,” he told me. “No one will threaten the life of Israel when I am the prime minister. And I will not hesitate to use all the power that we have in order to respond. That is something that must be understood.”

NEXT: The inside story of how Olmert first learned that Syria was building a secret nuclear facility, and how he began planning to take it out.


Israel marks 40 years since famed raid that destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor

Exactly 40 years ago, the Israeli Air Force carried out one of the most daring military missions in history. Eight Israeli fighter pilots flew 1600 kilometers over enemy territory, while flying just over 100 feet above ground to avoid radar detection. In a precision strike, Israeli fighters destroyed Iraq’s nuclear facility, and Saddam Hussein’s nuclear dreams along with it.

As excepted, the international community condemned Israel for the strike. Now imagine what the Gulf War and Iraq War would have looked like if Saddam Hussein had been in possession of nuclear weapons. Israel should not have received condemnation. On the contrary, the international community should have expressed its gratitude to Israel for saving the world from a nuclear Iraq.

Sadly, the world has not learned the lessons of 1981. Today, the United States is about to rejoin the JCPOA with the other world powers. An agreement that guarantees that Iran will be able to manufacture nuclear bombs in the years ahead. As such, Israel will be once again be forced to act alone. And rest assured, Israel will do just that.

Israel marks 40 years since famed raid that destroyed Iraq’s would-be nuclear reactor

By Israel Hayom, June 7, 2021

Israel this week will mark the 40th anniversary of one of the most daring military missions in its history: the elimination of the would-be nuclear reactor in Iraq. The operation stunned the world and went down in history as one of the most audacious Israeli Air Force raids ever performed and one that defeated all odds.

Operation Opera was a surprise airstrike mounted by the eight IAF fighter jets on June 7, 1981. The jets dropped 16 bombs on their target, leveling Osirak, an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor located 17 kilometers (11 miles) southeast of Baghdad.

Ten Iraqi soldiers and one French civilian were reportedly killed in the airstrike which Israel called an act of self-defense, saying that the reactor had “less than a month to go” before “it might have become critical.

Operation Opera essentially outlined Israeli policy with respect to preventive strikes on enemy targets, and it added another dimension to its existing policy of deliberate ambiguity, as it related to the nuclear weapons capability of other states in the region.

The attack was preceded by a series of diplomatic efforts by Israel, which for five years had tried to prevent Iraq from realizing its nuclear ambitions. Israeli officials had tried in particular to influence the United States and France, which had supplied Iraq with the nuclear reactor, but to no avail.

While diplomatic efforts were underway, the defense establishment worked tirelessly to outline military options. It was believed that bombing the Iraqi reactor would delay Baghdad’s nuclear project by several months, or at most by several years, making then-Military Intelligence Director Yehoshua Sagi, who opposed the strike, question whether the operational risk was justified, the reaction Israel would surely face in the international arena.

Seven veteran IAF pilots were selected for the mission, as well as one young pilot – Ilan Ramon, who would one day become the first Israeli astronaut, but for whom, at the time, it would be the first operational mission.

The pilots were only told of their targets after months of training, during which one of the gravest concerns was that of fueling.

Aerial refueling was not an option in those days, and the fuel what was then highly advanced F-16 fighter jets was barely enough to strike Iraq and make it back to Israel.

Watch:


Israel Destroys Iraq's Nuclear Reactor - History

The Obama Administration is blustering that more drastic sanctions will be imposed on Iran if it does not stop enriching uranium, but Russia and China have undermined the threat by saying they will not support such sanctions. Meanwhile, Israel watches from the sideline and makes its own calculations of its national interest and stirring memories of 1981.

On June 7, 1981, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Samuel Lewis was delivering a briefing before dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv when he was told Prime Minister Menachem Begin was on the phone. Lewis picked up the phone and Begin told him, “Sam, I would like you to convey urgently a message from me to President Reagan. About one hour ago, our Air Force destroyed the nuclear reactor near Baghdad all the planes have returned safely.”

At that moment Lewis was shocked, but the fact that Israel had attacked Osirak was not completely unexpected because the possibility had been discussed for months. In fact, almost a year earlier, Begin and his military advisers had told Lewis they were growing increasingly concerned about Iraq’s nuclear program. U.S. and Israeli intelligence officers were exchanging information and they agreed that Iraq was seeking to develop a nuclear capability through the use of enriched uranium produced by the Osirak reactor. As is the case today with Iran, however, the two sides disagreed over how much progress the Iraqis were making and when the reactor might go into operation. Begin decided Israel would have to attack before the reactor went critical because of the risk of nuclear fall-out over Baghdad, which would have killed innocent civilians. The Israelis predicted it would go critical by the end of the summer of 1981 while the U.S. experts said it would take at least another two years.

Lewis said that he and other American officials began to hear a persistent Israeli refrain, “Either the U.S. does something to stop this reactor or we will have to!” This was being done mostly behind the scenes in 1980-81 whereas the Israelis have been sounding the alarm about Iran publicly now for several years. Perhaps they have done it so often that U.S. officials believe they have been crying wolf. Many observers believe that Israel cannot do anything about the Iranian program, that the United States will prevent Israel from launching an attack (former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski recently suggested the U.S. shoot down Israeli planes) or that the Israelis have come to the same conclusion as Secretary of State Hilary Clinton namely, that the world will have to learn to live with a nuclear Iran and be satisfied with the promise of a U.S. defense umbrella.

In 1981, a number of U.S. officials applauded Israel’s action, knowing the Iraqis were indeed a threat and that their government would probably never take such a bold step. These officials wanted to publicly support Israel and to justify the attack as an act of self-defense. State Department Arabists, however, vehemently objected and told Secretary of State Alexander Haig the United States would invite universal condemnation from the Arab world and the administration would “not have a Middle East policy for the next four years.” Instead of praise, the U.S. joined in the international condemnation of the raid.

According to Lewis, President Reagan was angry at first, but he realized “the Israelis were pretty independent and, while they admired the U.S. and they liked him, they did have their own agenda, which meant that we would not always agree.”

A decade later, U.S. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney sent the Israeli Air Force commander who oversaw the operation, David Ivri, an enlarged black-and-white U.S. satellite photograph of Osirak, taken a few days after the IAF raid. Cheney wrote an inscription: “For Gen. David Ivri, with thanks and appreciation for the outstanding job he did on the Iraqi nuclear program in 1981 – which made our job much easier in Desert Storm.”

President Obama should take this history into account as he allows Iran more time to develop its nuclear capability while trying to muster support for what are likely to be ineffective sanctions.


Nuclear Dreams Denied: How Israel Bombed Saddam Hussein's Reactors

Centralt punkt: Iraq was working on nuclear weapons and no one appeared willing to stop them. So Israel stepped in and did the world a big favor.

In the late 1970s, it became clear to the international community that Iraq, under the despotic leadership of Saddam Hussein, was attempting to acquire nuclear weapons through the guise of buying nuclear reactors for power generators. At the time, Iraq had well-known expansionist ambitions and unyielding animosity toward what it called dismissively “the Zionist entity,” Israel. Hussein, a congenital thug born literally on the wrong side of the tracks, had ascended to the presidency of Iraq after two decades spent as a brutish street fighter and assassin for the militant Ba’th Party, which had seized political power in 1968.

Once in charge, Hussein stepped up his efforts to make Iraq a nuclear power to counteract Israel’s supposed nuclear capacity. Trading on the diplomatic and financial contacts he had made with France earlier in the decade, Hussein completed a deal in 1975 in which the European nation agreed to sell Iraq the equipment necessary to construct a nuclear reactor at al-Tuwaitha, a research site located on banks of the Tigris River, a mere 12 miles from the center of Baghdad. The French also agreed to supply Iraq with 72 kilograms of enriched, weapons-grade uranium, which could easily be converted for use in an atomic bomb. Such a bomb, which experts calculated could be completed by the early 1980s, could easily kill at least 100,000 people if dropped on Tel Aviv, the capital of Israel.

The world reacted with alarm to news of the sale. The United States and Great Britain expressed measured diplomatic concern, and the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency increased monitoring efforts of Iraq’s nascent nuclear program. But the West was reluctant to alienate the Arab world in the immediate wake of the 1973-74 oil embargo. It fell to Israel, the nation most immediately threatened by Hussein’s obvious thirst for atomic weapons, to devise a suitable response to Iraq. The first move came in April 1979, when agents of Israel’s incomparable Mossad intelligence agency intercepted a shipment of nuclear cores from France to Iraq at La Seyne-sur-Mer. Working swiftly, a team of agents blew up the warehouse where the shipment was stored, severely damaging the cores. Iraqi officials, fearing Hussein’s reaction to the news, agreed to accept the damaged goods anyway.

Over the next 15 months, a number of key nuclear scientists from Iraq and other Arab countries were assassinated by Israeli agents while the scientist were visiting western Europe. The spate of suspicious deaths, including throat cuttings, hit-and-run automobile accidents, sudden flu-like illnesses, and virulent “food poisoning,” greatly slowed the pace of research on Iraq’s nuclear program, but Hussein continued pressing forward. “How could a people who only know how to ride camels produce an atomic bomb?” he scoffed when asked about his plans. Meanwhile, he threatened to suspend payments—and much-needed oil shipments—to France unless the French fulfilled their original contract calling for delivery of 72 pounds of 93% enriched uranium. The French agreed to honor their terms.

The next blow to Iraq’s nuclear efforts came nine days after the start of the Iran-Iraq War, on Sept 30, 1980, when Iran sent two Phantom F-4-E jets to attack several Iraqi targets, among them the uncompleted nuclear reactors at al-Tuwaitha. The Phantoms fired two rockets. One did not explode, and the other hit the housing of one of the reactors, damaging the dome and cooling system, but causing no significant destruction. Hundreds of French and Italian technicians and engineers working at the facility were evacuated, however, and work at al-Tuwaitha ground to a standstill.

Over the course of the following year, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin considered various options, including attacking Iraq’s reactors. Such a move entailed major concerns, including probable adverse world reaction, the distance from Israel to Iraq (over 1,100 miles to the target and back), and concern that even though Iraq was in a war with Iran, it might counterattack Israel as well. More important, Begin was concerned about the reaction of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, who had brokered a separate peace treaty with Begin at Camp David in 1979. While an attack would not violate Israel’s treaty with Egypt, which called for Israel to pull out of the Sinai in April 1982, Sadat’s reaction was still unpredictable.

Operation Babylon

Begin weighed the risks and decided that a nuclear-armed Iraq was too dangerous for Israel to endure and that a preemptive strike was worth any possible aftereffects. He felt that a relatively swift attack was the best option, particularly when Iraq was weakened by its ongoing ground war with Iran. And since the reactor was not yet in operation, an attack would not result in any kind of nuclear fallout over the city of Baghdad—a humanitarian and public-relations nightmare in the making. By the end of March 1981, Mossad reported that foreign workers were returning to al-Tuwaitha, and that construction had resumed on the Osirak nuclear reactor. Begin and his advisors finalized plans for a surgical air strike on the Iraqi facility in early May. It was codenamed Operation Babylon.

Following a series of delays, during which time Mossad learned that France had finally shipped all 72 kilos of enriched uranium to Iraq, the attack began near sunset on Sunday, June 7, 1981. It had been carefully planned for a Sunday, on the assumption that the 100 to 150 foreign experts employed at the reactor would be absent on the Christian day of rest. Additionally, a late-afternoon attack would give the Israeli Combat Search and Rescue Team (CSAR), riding in CH-53 helicopters, all night to search for any downed pilots. At 3 pm, the CH-53s took position, hovering at 100 feet just west of the Jordanian border. The crews were not told what the mission was—just that if a plane went down they had permission to violate any sovereign airspace to pick up the pilots. At 4 o’clock, eight of Israel’s American-built F-16 fighter jets took off from Etzion airbase in the Sinai desert, carrying extra 370-gallon fuel tanks to increase their range.

Due to weight considerations, the F-16s were stripped of two of their four air-to-air Sidewinder missiles and jamming devices for protection against Iraqi MiGs and SAM-6 radars. Despite attempts to get their weight as low as possible, they still took off at a weight that exceeded nearly twice the planes’ design specifications. They were equipped with special racks that carried two 2,000-pound MK-84 “dumb” bombs, called dumb because they used gravity only in targeting. The idea was to make the bombing process as simple as possible. The bombers were escorted by eight F-15 fighter interceptors for protection against Arab aircraft, to provide jamming of Iraqi radar over al-Tuwaitha, and to act as communications relay stations to a Boeing 707 command post that would be orbiting over Israel.

The fighters had to fly over or circumvent seven separate Arab airfields along their route of attack. This meant danger of aerial interception from Jordanian F-5-Es and Iraqi Mirage-4000s, MIG-23, and MIG-25s. At al-Tuwaitha itself, the fighters would face antiaircraft artillery (AAA) batteries and SAM-6s. The route of the attack from takeoff in the Sinai was east across the Gulf of Acaba, then across the northern part of Saudi Arabia near the border of Jordan, where Israel believed it had discovered some radar blind spots. Additionally, the Israelis had intelligence that the Saudis would only have one of their American-supplied Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) intelligence aircraft in the air at the time of the attack and that it would be overlooking the Persian Gulf. Radio communication, only to be made at five checkpoints, would be single words in English, the international language of aviation, so that if overheard the communication might be mistaken for a commercial flight.

The eight pilots, all chosen for their previous intensive training in F-16s, were divided into two teams. Team one included Lt. Col. Zeev Raz, the wing commander, Amos Yadlin, Doobi Yaffi, and Hagai Katz. Team two, led by Lt. Col. Amir Nachumi, included Iftach Spector, Relik Shafir, and Ilan Ramon.

The formation flew low, about 100 feet, and fast, about 360 knots, again to avoid detection. Once the formation was across Saudi Arabia, it turned toward Baghdad. The first bombers reached their target 12 miles past Baghdad. Once on the scene, the attack took place in a matter of minutes. The F-16s swept across the sky in pairs of two, reaching 5,000 feet in four seconds and then diving at the target, sending their bombs toward the sides of the reactor, as they had practiced for months in the Sinai. The first bombs hit the side of the reactor, opening holes for the second set of bombs, which found and destroyed the reactor inside. In all, 14 out of 16 bombs hit the reactor precisely. A French worker who witnessed the Israeli attack called the accuracy of the Israeli bombing “stupefying.” Eight workers, including one French technician, were killed in the bombing.


ISRAELI JETS DESTROY IRAQI ATOMIC REACTOR ATTACK CONDEMNED BY U.S. AND ARAB NATIONS

Israeli planes yesterday bombed and destroyed an atomic reactor near Baghdad that would have enabled Iraq to manufacture nuclear weapons, the Israeli Government announced today.

Prime Minister Menachem Begin justified the action as having been essential to prevent the 'ɾvil'' President Saddam Hussein of Iraq from attacking Israeli cities with atomic bombs of the type dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.

The official Israeli announcement of the raid said that none of the foreign specialists known to have been working at the facility had been hurt. The number of Iraqi casualties was not known.

(France, which was building the reactor with Italy, announced that a French technician, identified only as Mr. Chausspied, had been killed in the raid. Page A7.) Enriched Uranium Reported at Site

At least 25 pounds of enriched uranium were reported to have been on the site. The Israeli pilots, all of whom returned safely, according to the announcement, were said to have seen secondary explosions, indicating the presence of a large quantity of inflammable or explosive material. There was nothing left of the plant, they said.

(The French Foreign Ministry said that there was no nuclear fuel in the facility at the time of the attack. It said that the main reactor, which uses highly enriched uranium fuel suitable for atomic weapons, had been ''seriously damaged.'' A smaller French-supplied reactor in the same complex, as well a Soviet-made reactor, escaped damage, the ministry said.)

Mr. Begin said that the $275 million facility was near completion and was scheduled to go into operation within several months. After that, the official Israeli announcement stated, an attack on it would have blanketed Baghdad with radiation.

''Under such circumstances,'' the statement said, ''no government of Israel could contemplate bombing the reactor.'' U.S. Not Told in Advance

The raid was immediately condemned by the United States, which Mr. Begin said had not been notified in advance. A State Department spokesman in Washington denounced it as 'ɺ very serious development and a source of utmost concern.'' Washington has been trying to improve relations with Baghdad.

The Iraqi press agency, which did not report the attack until after the Israeli announcement, said that nine aircraft had been involved. American military analysts said that the bombing was apparently done by American-made F-4 Phantoms escorted by F-15's.

There were no indications of any preparations for retaliation by Iraq, which has long been technically in a state of war with Israel but is also tangled in a sputtering war with Iran.

The successful Israeli raid was expected to give a further stimulus to the campaign of Mr. Begin, who faces a close race for re-election in three weeks. His major opponent, Shimon Peres of the Labor Party, was informed of plans for the attack three months ago, Mr. Begin said, but expressed reservations about its advisability.

The reactor, known as the Osirak plant, was damaged last Sept. 30 in the second week of the Iraqi-Iranian war by unmarked jets. Iran denied being responsible for the attack, and some reports, never confirmed, attributed the raid to Israelis. The result was an interruption in work at the plant, and foreign specialists, including French, Italian and Brazilian experts, returned to continue their tasks there only several months ago.

Israel had worked on the plans for the raid for several months, Mr. Begin said. The attack was timed for a Sunday ''on the assumption that the 100 to 150 foreign experts employed at the reactor would be absent on the Christian day of rest,'' according to the announcement. ''This assumption proved to have been correct,'' it said. ''No foreign specialists were hurt.''

Although France had insisted that the reactor was intended only for research, Israel said that 'ɿrom sources whose reliability is beyond any doubt, we learned that this reactor, despite its camouflage, is designed to produce atomic bombs.

''The target for such bombs would be Israel,'' it said. ''This was clearly announced by the ruler of Iraq. After the Iranians had inflicted slight damage on the reactor, Saddam Hussein stressed that the Iranians had attacked the target in vain, since it was being constructed against Israel alone.'' First Strike Feared by Israel

A critical motivation for the Israeli attack appeared to be the conviction here that the Iraqi regime could not be deterred from a first strike with nuclear weapons, even by the rational calculation that Iraq might be similarly hit.

Israel has denied possessing nuclear weapons. But the Central Intelligence Agency released reports several years ago stating that Israel had obtained uranium 'ɻy clandestine means,'' and concluding: ''We believe that Israel already has produced nuclear weapons.''

''There is no question,'' said Yuval Neɾman, an Israeli physicist, ''that the existence of this reactor represented a real threat, especially to Israel but I would say also to several other countries in the Middle East.

''The removal of this threat is a good thing in itself,'' he said. ''I think that there was no other way, because with a country such as Iraq under its present leadership, you couldn't even plan for a balance of fear. Suppose they would have reached the stage where they would have had their weapons, and suppose Israel would then have done the same. Even that would not have assured our safety because this kind of regime doesn't care even about its own people, so we would have been exposed, and there's no question that we would have been target No. 1.'' Iraqis Have Delivery System

He estimated that it would take Iraq about three years to rebuild the reactor. Before the facility was destroyed, experts believed that Iraq could have had nuclear weapons by 1985. A delivery system, in the form of Soviet-made ground-to ground missiles, is already in Baghdad's possession.

Israel obviously felt itself pushing against a deadline. 'ɿrom the most reliable sources,'' the Government statement said, ''we learned of two dates when the reactor would be completed and put into operation. One: the beginning of July 1981 two: the beginning of September 1981.

''In other words, within a short period of time the Iraqi reactor would have been operational and 'hot.' Under such circumstances, no government of Israel could contemplate bombing the reactor. Such an attack would have brought about a massive radioactive lethal fallout over the city of Baghdad, and tens of thousands of its innocent residents would have been hurt.''

Prime Minister Begin said that in that instance, ''we would have had to sit by passively from afar, knowing that the Iraqis were creating atomic bombs of the type dropped on Hiroshima in the Second World War, and three, four or five such atomic bombs in the hands of such an evil person as Saddam Hussein, who with his own hands murdered the best of his people in order to control his country, it wouldn't be beyond him to use these bombs on concentrations of our population.''

The Government statement, which was issued after news of the raid was disclosed on Radio Amman, Jordan, condemned France and Italy.


Se videoen: La guerre du Golfe 1991 Opération Tempête du désert: Rendez-vous avec Mr X du 13 octobre 2001