November 12, 2008

Syrian Uranium Mythology

Earlier this month, diplomats with access to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna week revealed that samples taken from a site in northeastern Syria indicated the presence of processed uranium.

This finding lends credence to the Israeli claims that the site housed a nuclear reactor and some vindication for its attack on the facility in September 2007.

Syrian reactor site near al-Kibar

This revelation should come as no surprise - the evidence of Syrian-North Korean cooperation to build the reactor at al-Kibar is in my opinion irrefutable. Ground photography of the site shows a facility closely resembling the reactor at Yongbyon, North Korea. Photogrammetry of satellite imagery indicates that the two buildings are almost identical in size. The only exception is the clever Syrian attempts to mask the true purpose of the site. There is no obvious power source, cooling system, or air defense. While the site is easily visible from above as shown on the image above, the facility is actually placed in a wadi and not visible from the roads in the area or the Euphrates River.

This is typical for the Syrians - I was a military attaché assigned to the American Embassy in Syria and spent a lot of time trying to find these hidden facilities.

Similarities in Syrian and North Korean reactors

In what has to be a classic attempt at Syrian mythology, the explanation of how processed uranium found its way to al-Kibar. This map will be useful.

Syria has a declared nuclear program for research and the production of isotopes for medical and agricultural purposes. The program uses a small reactor located in a facility near the Damascus International Airport near Dayr al-Hajar. The facility is easily visible from the road - there are no attempts to disguise its function.

The possible explanation: Perhaps some of the uranium found in the remains of the site at al-Kibar originated at Dayr al-Hajar and was inadvertently moved to al-Kibar.

Talk about the suspension of disbelief. It is over 250 miles of bad roads from Dayr al-Hajr to al-Kibar. Trust me - I've driven it. There is no easy way to get there, and no plausible explanation as to why anyone involved in the reactor program at Dayr al-Hajar should be at al-Kibar, unless al-Kibar was in fact a nuclear facility.

I think the Syrians still have some explaining to do.