Syria says there's no reactor there, and they're right.
On September 6, 2007, Israeli warplanes dropped bombs on what Syria has said was
- Empty sand
- An agricultural facility
- An unused military facility of some sort
But, Syria says that there's no reactor there. And, they're right. There won't be any evidence of one lying around either, unless they were very, very clumsy.
As the International Herald Tribune recalled today, Syria "wiped the Euphrates site clean of rubble late last year and erected a new building where the destroyed one had been — a step nuclear experts said would complicate the job of hunting for atomic clues. Some analysts said the rapid cleanup and new construction had been tacit admissions of guilt."
("UN nuclear inspectors to visit Syria" International Herald Tribune (June 3, 2008))
There certainly isn't a nuclear reactor there now, and unless the Syrian clean-up crew was clumsy, I doubt that the handful of inspectors the IAEA sends is going to find any evidence to speak of.
As for other places that the IAEA ought to be interested in, forget it. "Diplomats: 3 suspect Syrian nuke sites off limits" (Associated Press (June 3, 2008)).
The International Herald Tribune article offers quotes from some of the people involved.
- "Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the atomic agency, announced the impending visit at a meeting of the agency's board in Vienna. 'I look forward to Syria's full cooperation,' he said."
- "The press secretary at the Syrian Embassy in Washington declined to comment specifically on the inspection visit, and other Syrian officials also did not comment. But Ahmed Salkini, the press secretary, said in a statement that Syria had always had a good working relationship with the atomic agency 'and we intend to keep it that way.'"
"He added: 'This fabricated story by the U.S. administration will deconstruct from within and without. We are working on different fronts, and with different parties, to ensure that this fabrication is exposed to the world, and this administration embarrassed, once again.' " [emphasis mine]
- David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington: " 'If the Syrians think that a quick visit and some interviews' will clear up the nuclear suspicions, he said, 'they're sadly mistaken.' "
- "Nuclear team to visit site of Israeli bombing
Sydney Morning Herald (June 4, 2008)
- " Syria agrees to nuclear probe"
CNN (June 2, 2008)
- " Bush pushes 3 nations on nuclear issue"
CNN (April 29, 2008)
- "Syria's Reactor and North Korea - Again
(May 5, 2008)
- "Unilateral Attack Sparks International Condemnation! Syria Had No Reactor! Pay No Attention to the North Koreans!"
(April 26, 2008)
- "Syrian Ambassador: Reactor? That's No Reactor"
(April 24, 2008)
- "Return of the Radioactive Kimchi!! North Korean Nuclear Reactor in Syria Back in the News"
( April 23, 2008)
- "Back to Syria's Mystery Building"
(October 29, 2007)
- "Satellite Images of Syrian Reactor / Warehouse"
(October 25, 2007)
- "Putin, Ahmadinejad, Iran, Syria, Israel: Here We Go Again?"
(October 18, 2007)
- " 'The Jews Blew Up Our Reactor (Which Does Not Exist)' "
(October 17, 2007)
- "In the News: Anxious Republicans, Castro and Chavez are Friends, and, oh, yes: Israel Destroyed Syrian Nuclear Reactor"
(October 14, 2007)
- "No Radioactive Kimchi: Israel Blew Up a Syrian Reactor"
(October 13, 2007)
- "Radioactive Kimchi, or Nuclear Bomb Material?"
(September 23, 2007)
- "Nuclear Materials from North Korea,
Sand, or Radioactive Kimchi?"
( September 18, 2007)
- "Nuclear Stockpile Bombed?"
(September 16, 2007)