As usual, in situations like this, there are at least a couple of contradictory versions of "the truth" floating around.
Syria's government-run, official, Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA, says that Bassam Darwish was misquoted.
However, there were witnesses.
The Syrian slip was recorded in a document released by The United Nations General Assembly's Department of Public Information. it told about what happened at the annual gathering of the U.N.'s Disarmament and International Security Committee.
At least two people, one of them a U.S. delegate to the U.N., confirm that what Darwish wrote is almost exactly what he said. The delegate was very surprised, and nobody can figure out why the Syrian representative said "6 July" instead of "6 September."
The U.S. State Department is guessing that Darwish mis-spoke.
Syria has already called their representative a liar, with the statement "such facilities do not exist in Syria." I think that this time the Syrian statement may be literally true. Now. Before, Syria has said that Israel's September raid was on
- An unused military building
- An agricultural research station.
- Nothing but sand
- Nothing at all: There was no raid.
- Pick a story
- Keep it simple
- Stick to the original story
Now, with accidental confirmation of Syria's nuclear program, and the Israeli response, we've got a better picture of what's going on in the Middle East.
Not a comforting picture, but a more accurate one.
As for Bassam Darwish, I sincerely hope that he survives the turn his career is likely to take after this slip of the lip.