NEWS & EDITOR’S COMMENT: Syria levels the rubble

Satellite photos show cleansing of Syrian site

New commercial satellite photos show that a Syrian site believed to have been attacked by Israel last month no longer bears any obvious traces of what some analysts said appeared to have been a partly built nuclear reactor.

Two photos, taken Wednesday from space by rival companies, show the site near the Euphrates River to have been wiped clean since August, when imagery showed a tall square building there measuring about 150 feet on a side.

The Syrians reported an attack by Israel in early September; the Israelis have not confirmed that. Senior Syrian officials continue to deny that a nuclear reactor was under construction, insisting that Israel hit a largely empty military warehouse. [complete article]

Editor’s Comment — Who destroyed the evidence? We have been given to understand that the square building at the Syrian site was blown up by Israeli bombs. If anyone was concerned about demonstrating what the building was for, perhaps it should have been left in tact. Independent IAEA investigators could have determined what was there. Israel’s rumored accusations might have been substantiated — or not.

Instead, now all we have are satellite images revealing something and its absence, along with purported intelligence photos taken on the ground somewhere yet no means to establish the authenticity of that evidence — evidence which thus far has not been made publicly available.

The Syrian site has now been cleared, or “cleansed,” as Pravda-style the Times reports. So what? Syria does not have an open democratic government — but that’s not news, is it?

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2 thoughts on “NEWS & EDITOR’S COMMENT: Syria levels the rubble

  1. Alburaiki

    I think it is interesting that no one has even bothered to look at this from a practical side. Whatever the site is or is not, I certainly would not expect anybody to keep a destroyed building in a heap of rubble. Why is it sinister when the Syrians clear out a bombed site? What do people expect? that they should keep the destroyed building as is!
    If people are really worried, maybe they should be tracking where the trucks are dumping the rubble, surely America and Israel have proved they have the capability of doing that, and sending the IAEA inspector’s to take soil samples from the rubble and the cleared site. That should be an end to it.
    Also, it would be naive to think that none of this has anything to do with US policy to keep huge pressure on the Syrians after the the Harriri tribunal card was starting to lose steam. Let us no kid ourselves the US is trying to manouvre the Arab States into an accomodation with Israel (at the expense of the Palestinians) and to cement a regional grouping led by the US’s kep ally’s, to face off a resurgent Iran and probably with a further goal of strengthing its postion vis-a-vis Russian and China.

  2. peter hofmann

    As much as i know, for two month nobody has asked the syrians to visit and search the site.

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