By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service Last update -
Syria has confirmed that the target of an IAF raid deep within its borders last month was a nuclear facility, Israeli Foreign Ministry officials said Wednesday.
The officials quoted remarks by Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jafari to a meeting of a UN disarmament and arms control committee, as reported by Israeli Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General for Strategic Affairs Miriam Ziv, who took part in the meeting.
In her Tuesday night report to Jerusalem, Ziv quoted Jafari as telling the committee: "Israel is the fourth largest exporter of arms in the world, and is violating the airspace of other countries."
"Israel has attacked nuclear installations in the region, including the attack of the sixth of July in Syria," Jafari continued, in an apparent error as to the date of the September 6 air strike.
In an official response, the Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed the statements, but declined further comment.
If accurate, it would be the first such admission by Damascus, which has denied widespread reports that evidence of nuclear weapons research sparked the September 6 Israeli air strike in northern Syria. Syrian President Bashar Assad has maintained that Israel bombed an "unused military building" in the raid.
The report follows a Saturday New York Times account, which said that the attack targeted a partially built nuclear reactor that was years away from completion.
Israeli officials have been largely silent about the affair. The military only recently relaxed censorship to allow Israel-based journalists to report that Israeli aircraft attacked a military target deep inside Syria.
The Times said the nuclear reactor was modeled on one North Korea had used to create its stockpile of nuclear weapons fuel. North Korea has denied involvement in any such activities in Syria.
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