Friday, October 05, 2007

Scuds Not Nukes

This looks about right.

Via Laura Rozen, Intelligence Online reports on the probable target of the Israeli raid on Syria in early September:

The attack by the Israeli air force coincided with the arrival of a stock of parts for Syria's 200 Scud B and 60 Scud C weapons.

The parts were shipped from North Korea aboard a container ship flying the Panamanian flag. The U.S. Navy wanted to board the ship in Morocco's territorial waters but Rabat vetoed the operation. The parts were loaded aboard six trucks in the Syrian port of Tartus on Sept. 3 and took three days to reach Dair el Zor. The trucks and their loads were destroyed the moment they arrived at the underground base. A unit of military police that escorted the convoy was also wiped out in the attack.


This confirms the version that Raw Story reported a week ago.

As an aside, North Korea is prohibited from exporting spare parts for missile systems under the UNSCR 1718 sanctions. If there's no brouhaha, maybe the idea that Kim Jung Il is shielded for international reproach because he himself revealed his illicit dealings with Syria to the U.S. as a confidence-building (and prophylactic) measure has some basis.

As I stated in my post back then this presents an interesting issue for the London Sunday Times, whose September 22 stemwinder may well mark the high water mark of Nork nukes in Syria drumbeating:

....if the nuclear story is untrue then somebody is (gulp) lying. The nuclear story, with its tale of Israeli commandoes, seized nuclear material, and anxious conferences between Washington and Tel Aviv is too categorical and detailed to be treated as the result of incomplete information and inference.

If the SCUD story continues to pan out, wonder if the Times will cover the interesting story of who lied about the Syria nuclear scenario. It would involve a lot of tough reporting...like opening up their own notebooks to see who fibbed to them and when.

1 comment:

David said...

Cheney and his lickspittle Bolton are up to their old tricks again:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/10/washington/10diplo.html?ref=world