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Politics : Politics for Pros- moderated -- Ignore unavailable to you. Want to Upgrade?

To: Big Black Swan who wrote (219909)9/16/2007 11:49:22 AM
From: Geoff Altman  Read Replies (1) | Respond to of 786784
I continue to be amazed that it isn't being widely discussed.

CNN carried it but notice that the word nuclear is missing?

Syria complains to U.N. about Israeli airstrike
Story Highlights
NEW: Syria calls incursion a "breach of airspace" in letter to U.N.

Israeli airstrike last week may have targeted weapons stores, sources tell CNN

Operation may also have involved ground forces, U.S. and regional sources say

Israel Defense Forces has made no comment

(CNN) -- Syria accused Israel of a "flagrant violation" of its obligations when it carried out an airstrike inside the country last week, according to a copy of a letter released Tuesday.

Syria called the incursion a "breach of airspace of the Syrian Arab Republic" and said "it is not the first time Israel has violated" Syrian airspace, the letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon read.

It also accused the international community of ignoring Israeli actions.

Earlier, a U.N. spokeswoman said Syria had not requested a meeting of the Security Council.

Meanwhile, France -- the current president of the Security Council -- said it had received no letter from Syria.

Last week, Syria reported that its aircraft fired on Israeli "enemy aircraft" that flew into northern Syria early Thursday.

The airstrike may have targeted weapons that were destined for Hezbollah militants, according to sources in the region and in the United States. Watch a report on the airstrike »

The Israel Defense Forces had no comment on the report, and have refused to comment further on the new revelations.

But the sources told CNN the military operation, which happened Wednesday into Thursday, may have also involved Israeli ground forces who directed the airstrike, which "left a big hole in the desert" in Syria.

The strike may have targeted Hezbollah weapons coming into Syria or transiting through the country from Iran -- a pattern that, over the past three or four years, has occurred without any retaliation or other action taken against it -- the sources said.

The Israeli government is very happy with the success of the operation, the sources said.

Sources in the U.S. government and military confirmed to CNN's Barbara Starr that the airstrike did happen, and that they are happy to have Israel carry the message to both Syria and Iran that they can get in and out and strike when necessary.

Right now, diplomats in the region are trying to ensure the incident does not escalate.

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, is serving as a conduit between Israeli and Syrian foreign ministers, urging both sides to allow cooler heads to prevail, Solana's office said.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem and other Syrian officials have been putting out their version of events. The Syrian government said Israeli bombs were dropped on its territory and fuel tanks from Israeli jets were dropped on the Turkish side of the border.

Al-Moualem was in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Monday protesting this action and trying to get Turkey to support its desire to take Israel to the Security Council for the airstrike.

Israel fought a war with Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon last year after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers, who are still being held.

CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour and U.N. Correspondent Richard Roth contributed to this report.

To: Big Black Swan who wrote (219909)9/16/2007 2:22:02 PM
From: skinowski  Read Replies (1) | Respond to of 786784
This is probably related:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is keeping close watch on Syria and North Korea, the Pentagon chief said Sunday, amid suspicions the Koreans are possibly cooperating with Syria on a nuclear facility.

"I think it would be a real problem," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said when asked how the Bush administration would view such an effort.

A senior U.S. nuclear official said Friday that North Koreans were in Syria and that Syria may have had contacts with "secret suppliers" to obtain nuclear equipment.

Andrew Semmel, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for nuclear nonproliferation policy, did not identify the suppliers, but said North Koreans were in Syria and that he could not exclude that the network run by the disgraced Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan may have been involved.

Gates was asked in a broadcast interview whether Syria was involved in a covert nuclear program with North Korea's assistance.

"I'm not going to get into things that may involve intelligence matters, but all I will say is we are watching the North Koreans very carefully. We watch the Syrians very carefully," Gates said.

He added, "If such an activity were taking place, it would be a matter of great concern because the president has put down a very strong marker with the North Koreans about further proliferation efforts. And obviously, any effort by the Syrians to pursue weapons of mass destruction would be a concern for us."

A state-run newspaper in Syria said in an editorial Sunday that "the magnitude of these false accusations might be a prelude to a new aggression against Syria." Al-Thawra said suggestion of such nuclear cooperation was "a flagrant lie."

North Korea's minister to the country's U.N. mission in New York, Kim Myong Gil, has dismissed the Syria allegation as "groundless," South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted Kim as saying.

This week, negotiators from six nations plan to meet in Beijing to discuss ways to disable North Korea's nuclear reactor.

North Korea agreed in a February accord to scrap its nuclear programs in return for political concessions and aid. The North has shut down its Yongbyon nuclear facility and negotiators are now discussing the next phase of the agreement: disclosing and disabling all nuclear facilities, which the North recently agreed to do by the end of the year.

Gates spoke on "Fox News Sunday."