SYRIA UPDATE….ABC News reports that the United States was initially opposed to an Israeli strike against a military base in northeast Syria:
In early July the Israelis presented the United States with satellite imagery that they said showed a nuclear facility in Syria. They had additional evidence that they said showed that some of the technology was supplied by North Korea.
One U.S. official told ABC’s Martha Raddatz the material was “jaw dropping” because it raised questions as to why U.S. intelligence had not previously picked up on the facility.
….Initially, administration officials convinced the Israelis to call off the July strike. But in September the Israelis feared that news of the site was about to leak and went ahead with the strike despite U.S. concerns.
But was it really a nuclear site? Here’s a hint from Aviation Week:
The big mystery of the strike is how did the non-stealthy F-15s and F-16s get through the Syrian air defense radars without being detected? Some U.S. officials say they have the answer.
U.S. aerospace industry and retired military officials indicated today that [the Israelis used] a technology like the U.S.-developed “Suter” airborne network attack system….The technology allows users to invade communications networks, see what enemy sensors see and even take over as systems administrator so sensors can be manipulated into positions so that approaching aircraft can’t be seen, they say.
….A Kuwaiti newspaper wrote that “Russian experts are studying why the two state-of-the art Russian-built radar systems in Syria did not detect the Israeli jets entering Syrian territory. Iran reportedly has asked the same question, since it is buying the same systems and might have paid for the Syrian acquisitions.”
Obviously I’m just playing amateur sleuth here, but it doesn’t seem like you’d tip your hand about the capabilities of technology like this in order to destroy a bunch of rocket launchers and North Korean Scuds. The mission had to be important enough to make it worth letting the Syrians (and the Iranians and the Russians) know that their air defenses had been compromised. They might figure out how to fix it next time, after all. So maybe there was some North Korean nuclear technology there after all.
And is it a coincidence that within weeks North Korea suddenly decided to cut a deal with the U.S. to abandon its nuclear program? It might well be. But it is something of a coincidence, isn’t it?