Israel hit Syrian nuke plant in 2007 after Bush refused to do so

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert ordered the 2007 strike on a Syrian nuclear reactor immediately after former US president George W. Bush informed him that the Americans would not attack the facility, according to a Channel 10 report aired on Sunday evening.

Bush’s deputy national security adviser Elliot Abrams was present when the president called Olmert on September 6, 2007 and made clear that the US would not take action, and that then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice would fly to Israel to hold a joint press conference with Olmert to alert the international community of the secret reactor. The US had decided to handle the Syrian threat via diplomacy.

Olmert responded to Bush that the secretary’s visit would not be necessary and that Israel would deal with the nuclear facility on its own.

“If you’re not going to act against the reactor then we are,” Abrams quoted Olmert as saying during the teleconference. “You don’t want to know where or when,” the former prime minister reportedly added.

The Israelis were convinced that time was fairly short, and that they had to strike the reactor — built by the Syrians with extensive input from the North Koreans — before it went live, the TV report said.

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