Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

The Great Syrian Watermelon Bombing Raid

Posted by Charles II on October 19, 2007

(Patience: there’s an interesting link at the end)

There’s so much manure circulating about the Israeli attack on Syria that one wonders whether the Israelis didn’t hit a fertilizer factory.

Maybe they did.

An Israeli newspaper reported that the bombing attack had been at a research facility.

The New York Times:

Foreign journalists perused the rows of corn and the groves of date palms pregnant with low-hanging fruit here this week, while agents of Syria’s ever present security services stood in the background, watching closely, almost nervously.

“You see — around us are farmers, corn, produce, nothing else,” said Ahmed Mehdi, the Deir ez Zor director of the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands, a government agricultural research center, as he led two of the journalists around the facilities.

So, they give the tour. No bomb craters.

Aviation Week (via Arkin) says

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the Israelis struck a construction site at Tall al-Abyad just south of the Turkish border on Sept. 6. Press reports from the region say witnesses saw the Israeli aircraft approach from the Mediterranean Sea while others found unmarked drop tanks in Turkey near the border with Syria.

Oh, ok. Minor mistake. Let’s look at Tall al-Abyad.


Now that’s a great place to put a nuclear plant. Right across the border from Turkey, where it is under surveillance by a member of NATO.

Yahoo news:


U.N. experts have begun analyzing satellite imagery of the Syrian site struck last month by Israeli warplanes, looking for any signs it was a secret nuclear facility, diplomats said Friday. ...

Two other diplomats said initial examination of the material found no evidence the target was a nuclear installation, but emphasized it was too early to draw definitive conclusions.

Officials of the Vienna-based U.N. nuclear watchdog and the U.S. diplomatic mission to the IAEA had no comment Friday. But IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming indirectly rebuked Washington earlier this week, saying the agency "expects any country having information about nuclear-related activities in another country to provide that information to the IAEA."

So, let’s see. Anyone can look at the place on Google Maps, but a month after the bombing, our top analysts can’t provide evidence any more convincing than a round concrete structure with rebar to  persuade us  it was a nuclear site. Cripes, that sounds like a perfect description of a a grain silo.

Posters should turn off their radiation detectors and turn on their BS detectors.

BTW, Spook in the machine has a lot more patience than I do and has a guess as to what this is all about. Plus, great maps and a comprehensive set of references. 

8 Responses to “The Great Syrian Watermelon Bombing Raid”

  1. whig said

    Too much noise, not enough signal right now.

  2. The Crux said

    Too strange, Charles. I blogged about this here about 10 days ago. I didn’t have the facts that you’ve brought up, yet I felt compelled to doubt the news report on ABC.

  3. Charles said

    I think the signal of BS is plenty strong, whig. The Spook in the machine thinks this was an abortive raid on Iran. The presence of an ELINT aircraft is pretty interesting, alright, as is the report of jettisoned fuel pods.

  4. Charles said

    Crux, I have been suspicious of this story for a long time. Here, for example.

    It’s an article of faith on the right that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons and that he shipped them to Syria just before the invasion. When people become convinced of something, all evidence confirms it for them, while outside observers have the logical reaction. Namely, “WTF?”

  5. CSTAR said

    Concrete with rebar sticking out? Collapsed I35W Mississippi river bridge maybe?

  6. But– but Charles! You’re destroying the neocon/neoliberal justification for blowing up whoever is their Hate Object of the Week! How could you?!

  7. MEC said

    Charles isn’t destroying the neocon/neoliberal justification for blowing up whoever is their Hate Object of the Week. They’ll just call him unpatriotic and continue their merry march to the next catastrophe.

  8. Charles said

    Spook in the Machine thinks that this was an attempt to attack Iran, using nuclear weapons. That would make MEC right.

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