According to Haaretz, Israeli intelligence believes that, emboldened by Iran’s nuclear progress in the face of feckless international criticism, Syria is rebuilding its own nuclear facilities. Israel already destroyed one North Korean-built Syrian reactor in September 2007.
This should come as no surprise. As I have noted, Syrian President Bashar al-Asad’s recent overtures toward Israel and the EU are part of a ploy to deflect Western criticism from the Hariri assassination and other political killings, Syrian aid to Hamas and Hezbollah, and Asad’s nuclear ambitions.
As Tony Badran posits in the Fall 2008 issue of inFOCUS, the U.S. must not be duped by Asad or his apologists. Only pressure, isolation, and tougher sanctions will weaken the Syrian regime.