Syria and the Bomb

In 2007, an Israeli air strike blew up Syria’s nuclear reactor facility (the reactor itself wasn’t yet completed) and with it Syria’s nuclear weapons program.

Or so we thought at the time. If Spiegel Online International‘s reporting can be taken as even a bit accurate, al Assad is still working on a bomb at a couple of different facilities.

According to IAEA research, Syria possesses up to 50 tons of natural uranium, enough material for three to five bombs once the enrichment procedure is completed.

Keep in mind that, with Israel’s size, three to five bombs is all it would take for this Iranian client state to wipe Israel off the map.

And this:

The Institute for Science and International Security in Washington D.C. likewise has strong indications for the existence of such stockpiles [including fuel rods for the blown up reactor-under-construction]….


Analysts say that the Syrian atomic weapon program has continued in a secret, underground location. According to information they have obtained, approximately 8,000 fuel rods are stored there.

I hate unnamed sources of any sort; this is why such reporting needs to be taken with a grain of salt. But what if the reporting is accurate?

Outside Qusayr, which is 20 miles southwest of Homs (and which would be an added motive for Syria’s desperation to recapture Homs from the Syrian rebels)

satellite images show six structures: a guard house and five sheds, three of which conceal entrances to the facility below. The site also has special access to the power grid, connected to the nearby city of Blosah. A particularly suspicious detail is the deep well which connects the facility with Zaita Lake, four kilometers away. Such a connection is unnecessary for a conventional weapons cache, but it is essential for a nuclear facility.

SOI also claims to have copies of Hezbollah communications that refer to the “atomic factory” and that mentions Qusayr.

What worries me if even a couple of details are being accurately reported is this: what happens if Hezbollah, or ISIS, or al Qaeda units operating in Syria get hold of the raw uranium or the fuel rods—which are a more purified version of the uranium?

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