Sources: Spies confirm Syrian nuke effort

Published: Dec. 5, 2008 at 11:23 AM

DAMASCUS, Syria, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Samples from the Orontes River in Syria taken by Western agents indicate the country has resumed a nuclear program, sources allege.

Unidentified intelligence sources alleged the agents' findings that were presented last month to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna indicated Syria is actively involved in plutonium production, DEBKAfile said Friday.

The Orontes samples were taken near a suspected nuclear research base in Syria that is thought to host plutonium reprocessing efforts, the sources alleged.

The sources told DEBKAfile the samples were taken by foreign nuclear technicians on three different dates in the two months leading up to the Nov. 27-28 IAEA meeting.

The sampling came after Syria refused to give U.N. officials access to three suspected nuclear research sites.

The last Syrian nuclear program ended in September 2007 when Israel destroyed a suspected nuclear reactor in Al Kibar, DEBKAfile said.

The Israeli intelligence Web site said Syria and North Korea allegedly renewed a nuclear cooperation accord in October, meaning North Korea would supply Syria with nuclear materials and research.

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