Thursday, October 11, 2007

Nothing New, Update At Eleven

Here's the full text of an interview Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave the BBC ten days ago. The interviewer presses him pretty insistantly to provide some details about last month's mysterious Israeli airstrike, but he simply described the target as an unfinished, unmanned, undefended military construction site of little significance. Here's what he had to say about suggestions of a North Korean link:

We have a relation with North Korea and this is not something in secret. We have a relation with them but to have a construction, if you have, like they say you mean the nuclear, we are not interested in any nuclear activity. So far even peaceful reactor we do not even mention peaceful reactor for electricity or for any peaceful use in Syria. Talking about a strategic project like this, you do not have any protection, any air-defence, any people and then the aircraft attack that reactor and there is no radiations, no emergency plans. This is impossible. This is only a building, a construction, and they attacked this construction, nothing happened. So, it is not nuclear at all; these are only false claims.

To add to the already thick fog of confusion around the strike, a NY Times headline is announcing that Syria is now denying that the raid took place, while the accompanying story only reports an effort to deny an Israeli journalist's claims that a desert research center had suffered damage during the attack.

So for everyone keeping score at home, we effectively know very little more -- and possibly less -- than we did before, which was already close to zero. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Posted by Judah in:  The Middle East   

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