|Israel Wary of Syrian Raid at Dimona
Aviation Week & Space Technology
11/26/2007, page 27
Israel’s attack on a Syrian reactor may have been a signal to stop developing weapons of mass destruction, but those signals can be sent both ways. Israeli officials have been quiet about the raid, but they are concerned that Syrian pride may demand a response of some sort. One of the first targets that came to mind was Israel’s own nuclear operation at Dimona in the Negev Desert. Workers at the facility are suffering through scores of red alerts triggered by fear of an air strike. A battery of U.S.-made Patriot air defense missiles has been shifted to the site, and any aircraft that deviates from its course triggers the alarm and puts the missiles on alert. Shootdowns have occurred twice in the reactor’s history. An Israeli Mirage was shot down in 1967 and a Libyan 727 was downed in 1973 after losing its way in a storm.