Syria Renews Nuclear Activities

Ad Feedback - DAMASCUS, Syria - In a briefing Wednesday, Israeli military officials said Syria is constructing nuclear facilities, with the help of North Korea, patterned after Iran's nuclear program.

The officials said that Syria resumed construction on several new plants after last year's bombing of its plant near Dir A-Zur. Israel has never officially claimed responsibility for the air strike.

"The past year has seen three incidents indicating that Syria's nuclear armament is a red line that must not be crossed," said one Israeli official, quoted in the Arabic-language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

According to the article, the three incidents are the air strike at Dir A-Zur; the assassination of Brigadier General Mohammed Suleiman, one of Syrian President Bashar Assad's top security advisors; and last Saturday's car bombing in Damascus in the proximity of one of the country's intelligence facilities.

Among the victims of the bombing were Brigadier General George Gharbi, involved in planning Syria's nuclear program, and his son, who was a lieutenant.

Israeli intelligence believes that like Iran, Syria's nuclear aspirations include nuclear weaponry.

Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem denied Israeli claims that Syria is rearming Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorists.

"It is not correct that Syria is supplying Hezbollah with weapons and equipment, as is claimed. Hezbollah does not need this," Moallem told al-Sharq al-Awsat.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Moallem met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice while in New York for the United Nations General Assembly last week.

The two spoke of U.S. support for Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations, which Moallem described as "good progress in the American position" and said that Syria would "continue this dialogue."

Assad, meanwhile, said his country's close ties with Iran wouldn't affect peace talks with Israel.

Sources: YNet news, Haaretz

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