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Assad pursuing nuclear weapons.Syrian leader quite well. But MI6 knew nothing about this. Nothing about three big takeaways from the Israeli briefing were the following: Syria was building what definitely seemed like a nuclear reactor in a very desolate part of the country, very few people For Scarlett and his agents, the
outside the normal structure of the Syrian government. Wand the wider world.Korean involvement was also disturb-knew about it, and it was being done ily concerned with what all of this meant for stability in the Ming, for now the British were primar-hile the North iddle East
“Your mSOFT reactor in Syria,” Eliezer Shkedi, com-mander of the Israeli Air Force (IAF), MELODYission is to bomb a nuclear


checklist, Shkedi stood at the door without detection, the planes flew and shook each airman’s hand. “I trust you, and I believe in you,” he said. the pilots and navigators maintained headed out to their aircraft for a last extremely low—strict silence. The Israeli defense min-To infiltrate Syrian airspace below 200 feet—and
tance. Syria didn’t even see the planes ister, Ehud Barak, lived on the 31st flew lower than his own apartment, almost the entire way to the reactor.floor of an apartment building in Tel Aviv. It amazed him that the aircraft comtheir target a little after mAs expected, there was no resis-ing. The fighter jets were over idnight
to a higher altitude and then diving dropped two bombs over the reactor. toward the reactor, one after the other.the roof, as well as the exterior walls. each discharge. The bomand broke from formation, climbing The planes’ wings reverberated with Everything was captured on camera. Within seconds, each plane had bs struck
and massive. First, the roof caved in. of the target for less than two mThen, the side walls. The building was destroyed beyond repair.the lead pilot broke radio silence. “Ari-The explosions were consecutive utes. Each plane checked in, and then zona,” he reported back to Tel Aviv, the The planes hovered above, on top in-
code word for a mission accomplished.given to the IDF’s underground com-mand center) broke out in a round of applause and hugs, but it was all still a bit premature. Shkedi could not yet relax; the pilots still had to get back home safely. In the last briefing before the mission, he told the pilots that they The Bor (Hebrew for “pit,” the name
needed to do everything possible to avoid a direct confrontation with Syr-ian fighter jets. If, for example, a Syr-ian MiG tried to engage the IAF F-15s

told the pilots in the squadron’s brief-ing room on September 5, 2007. They looked at one another in disbelief. “It is of utmost importance for the safety and security of the Jewish people and the state of Israel,” Shkedi said.have timthe pilots recalled years later. “It was “It was a shock, but we didn’t really e to think about it,” one of
name said it all: Soft Mplete the mission as quietly as possible destroy the reactor, return to Israel without losing any aircraft and comstop and say, ‘Wow.’”definitely something that made me and without detection. The operation As they picked up their helmets and The operation had three objectives: elody. -

2007, instructed the pilots about M&RPPDQGHU6KNHGLSLFWXUHGLQ0DUFKWKHJUDYLW\RIWKHLUVWHDOWKPLVVLRQISSION CONTROL^ Israeli Air Force
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14 NEWSWEEK.COM JUNE 07, 2019


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