In his book, “Decision Points”, former president George W. Bush recounts events leading up to the bombing of a facility in Syria suspected of housing a nuclear reactor.
According to Bush:
“Iran was not the only nation endangering the freedom agenda by seeking nuclear weapons. In the spring of 2007, I received a highly classified report from a foreign intelligence partner. We poured over the photographs of a suspicious, well hidden building in the eastern desert of Syria.
The structure bore a striking resemblance to the nuclear facility at Yongbyon, North Korea, we concluded that the structure contained a gas cooled, graphite moderated reactor capable of producing weapons grade plutonium. Since North Korea was the only country that had built a reactor of that model in the past thirty five years, our strong suspicion was that we had just caught Syria red handed trying to develop a nuclear weapon capability with North Korean help.
That was certainly the conclusion of Prime Minister Olmert. “George, I’m asking you to bomb that compound”, he said in a phone call shortly after I received the report…” pg 421
“Before I made a decision, I asked CIA Director Mike Hayden to conduct an intelligence assessment. He explained that the analysts had high confidence that the plant housed a nuclear reactor. But because they could not confirm the location of the facilities necessary to turn plutonium into a weapon, they had only low confidence of a Syrian nuclear weapons program.”
“One September 6, 2007 the facility was destroyed (by an Israeli airstrike).
On September 6, 2007, in a surprise dawn attack, seven Israeli warplanes destroyed an industrial facility near al-Kibar, Syria, later identified by the CIA as a nearly completed nuclear reactor secretly under construction since 2001 (source: article: Israel’s Airstike on Syria nuclear reactor http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2008_07-08/SpectorCohen).
See also related article: Operation Orchid http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-story-of-operation-orchard-how-israel-destroyed-syria-s-al-kibar-nuclear-reactor-a-658663.html
Bush would later remark:
“It was confirmed Syria intention to develop nuclear weapons.” pg 422 Decision Points.
For more on Decision Points see website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decision_Points