The Times of London reports that prior to the Israeli air raid on Syria's secret military compound near Dayr az-Zawr, Israeli commandos seized samples of nuclear material and laboratory analysis confirmed that the material was North Korean in origin.
A note of caution here. One of the reporters, Uzi Mahnaimi, once reported that Israel was working on a bioweapon that would affect Arab genes only.
ISRAELI commandos from the elite Sayeret Matkal unit – almost certainly dressed in Syrian uniforms – made their way stealthily towards a secret military compound near Dayr az-Zawr in northern Syria. They were looking for proof that Syria and North Korea were collaborating on a nuclear programme.
Israel had been surveying the site for months, according to Washington and Israeli sources. President George W Bush was told during the summer that Israeli intelligence suggested North Korean personnel and nuclear-related material were at the Syrian site.
Israel was determined not to take any chances with its neighbour. Following the example set by its raid on an Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak 1981, it drew up plans to bomb the Syrian compound.
But Washington was not satisfied. It demanded clear evidence of nuclear-related activities before giving the operation its blessing. The task of the commandos was to provide it.
Today the site near Dayr az-Zawr lies in ruins after it was pounded by Israeli F15Is on September 6. Before the Israelis issued the order to strike, the commandos had secretly seized samples of nuclear material and taken them back into Israel for examination by scientists, the sources say. A laboratory confirmed that the unspecified material was North Korean in origin. America approved an attack.
According to the Times, Israel's attack on the “North Korean project” is part of a secret war against the weapons of mass destruction ambitions of the “axis of evil” - - Syria, North Korea and .
A number of North Koreans are believed to have been killed in the air raid:
Diplomats in North Korea and China said they believed a number of North Koreans were killed in the raid, noting that ballistic missile technicians and military scientists had been working for some time with the Syrians.Last week, Jane's Defence Weekly, reported dozens of ian engineers and 15 Syrian officers were killed in a July 23 explosion in Syria. According Jane's, a joint Syrian-ian team was attempting to mount a chemical warhead on a Scud missile when the explosion occurred, spreading lethal chemical agents, including sarin nerve gas.
[. . .]
The growing assumption that North Korea suffered direct casualties in the raid appears to be based largely on the regime’s unusually strident propaganda on an issue far from home. But there were also indications of conversations between Chinese and North Korean officials and intelligence reports reaching Asian governments that supported the same conclusion, diplomats said.
Syria's promise to to retaliate for the September 6 air raid is being taken seriously. Israel has made it clear that it will retaliate if it is attacked with weapons of mass destruction. Israel scrambled fighter jets toward Syria twice in the last few days. While Israelis were observing Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, police foiled a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv.
The New York Times reports that John Bolton suggests that the Israeli strike vindicates his view that Syria is actively pursuing a nuclear program, which was at the center of the 2005 fight over his nomination of to become ambassador to the United Nations.
The Israeli strike against Syria is a reminder that the "New Axis of Evil" remains a serious and determined group of state sponsors of terror. A fact which eludes the Democrats' Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
More at Blue Crab Boulevard, Hot Air and Patterico's Pontifications.