Syria's nuclear prowess underestimated

The destroyed reactor, in a still of a video released by the U.S. government via Wikimedia Commons.

DAMASCUS, Syria, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Satellite photographs indicate Syria has resumed construction of nuclear facilities since a reactor was bombed by Israel in September 2007, officials said.

Additionally, Syria's nuclear program was considerably more advanced than previously believed, a report by the Institute for Science and International Security said.


Syria has refused to let the International Atomic Energy Agency inspect the site near the town of Marj as Sultan near Damascus.

"With no substantial cooperation from Syria, the IAEA's director-general should clearly conclude that Syria may have egregiously violated its safeguards agreement and call for a special inspection of these four sites," a report released by ISIS said.

The report said the facility's current use is unknown. reported when inspectors visited the bombed al-Kibar site in May 2008 they found traces of uranium, indicating the reactor there was near completion.

The ISIS report said the Marj as Sultan facility may have been intended for processing uranium yellowcake into uranium tetraflouride for the al-Kibar reactor.

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