Talk:Operation Orchard

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Photos of ship unloading[edit]

The article mentions several times that there was materials unloaded (I assume parts for the reactor or maybe fuel) and it was labeled as "cement".. and that covert photos were taken of the unloading and showed to the pilots bombing.. but it is not mentioned anywhere exactly what was in the photos. Anything citeable? Otherwise its a weird item and should be mentioned but also mentioned that the subject in the photos is unknown due to security or whatever. Cs302b (talk) 04:31, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

==Photos of target before and after One of the photos is upside down. JPLeonard (talk) 18:07, 13 June 2012 (UTC)


This should be mentioned in the the article about Syria by Current Events.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 09:10:22, 19 Sep 2007 (UTC)

Edit dispute[edit]

An anonymous user has twice erased this sentence from the article:

On September 28 a Kuwaiti newspaper reported that Iranian general Ali Reza Asgari, who disappeared in February, was the source for the airstrike; this was confirmed by the intelligence group Stratfor, which reported that Asgari "gave Israel the intelligence on Syria’s missile program needed for the Syrian airstrike."[1]

  1. ^ "Israel: Asghari Gave Syrian Intelligence". Stratfor. 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 

Claiming that this information is not useable as it is "commercial." First of all, this is a reputable source found through Google news, and even a non-subscriber can view the title of the article. Considering Wikipedia allows sourcing to articles that can only be found in "commercial" databases (or for that matter all printed material that must be purchased), I fail to see how this case is any different. The full Stratfor report reads:

Israel: Asghari Gave Syrian Intelligence September 28, 2007 16 06 GMT
Informed sources have confirmed that retired Iranian Gen. Ali Reza Asghari, who defected in February, gave Israel the intelligence on Syria’s missile program needed for the Syrian airstrike Sept. 6. Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jeerada reported earlier Sept. 28 that Asghari was the source of information for the airstrike. Asghari is a former aide to the Iranian defense minister and a retired general who served for a long time in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

I am going to again reinsert the information, and would be happy for anyone to point out which wikipedia policy this inclusion contradicts. I understand the need for verifiability, but most published information must be purchased in some way or another, and this situation is no different. Joshdboz 18:40, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Nevermind, the issue should be moot now that other sources are reporting the same thing. Joshdboz 23:49, 29 September 2007 (UTC)


The Times also reports that the mission was "personally directed" by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud

So, can we add Ehud Barak in the "commanders" parameter of the infobox? Do we need another source for that claim? Is that remark too generalized to consider him as an actual commander? VolatileChemical 21:29, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure. If you look at Iraq War they include country commander-in-chiefs (Bush and Brown), whereas other articles just focus on military officers. I'd say there's no harm in adding him for the time being - he is Defense Minister after all, so he definitely played some role in directing this. Joshdboz 23:28, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Operation Orchard?[edit]

What is the source of this name? I have not seen the event referred to as Operation Orchard by any Israeli official. Is it a media invented name? -- 00:56, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Orchard was initially reported as the codename for the operation, and soon after several respected news agencies began referring to it as such. This pattern has happened before, see Operation Wrath of God. Joshdboz 02:08, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
The name "Orchard" (Bustan בוסתן in Hebrew) was given to a number of Israeli air force operations in the past, with a different number. For example "Bustan 25a" or "Bustan 39" in 1969. (See [1] , in Hebrew) Dove t. (talk) 02:26, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Seeing as how Israel has not even acknowledged that this event occurred, how could they have named it? Screen stalker (talk) 22:24, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Alastair Crooke[edit]

This is so much speculation so far, but worth a discussion. “Ticking Clocks and ‘Accidental’ War,” BY Alastair Crooke Monday, October 8th, 2007"The Syrians saw on their radars the four fighters that penetrated into Northern Syria from the Mediterranean; but they also saw the much larger numbers of Israeli aircraft that were flying in a holding position close to Cyprus. The Syrians were not about to disclose their anti-aircraft missile capacities to Israel; and the intruders dropped the munitions and their long-range fuel tanks without pressing any attack, but returned to join the larger group still flying a holding pattern off Cyprus before all returned to Israel as a single formation. The Israeli objective remains a matter of speculation, but the general conclusion is that Israel was only ready to run such a risk against unknown air defenses either as a proving run or, given the size of the numbers of aircraft off Cyprus, to destroy some target that for whatever reason they were unable to engage. Either way, the mission seems related to future conflict……" You have to remember the Russians have a Naval base at Latakia. It would just be hard to swallow that nobody saw the airplanes coming.Godspeed John Glenn! Will 14:01, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

First, I got to this article from the last history link in Nuclear weapons and Israel - but this article's link is gone in the actual article, with no subsequent history entry showing who removed it. Does WIKI flake out like that sometimes?? Like tech difficulties having saving this entry??
Second, the newer NY Times article linked in blog above has some interesting info. I think there are some info and links deleted from Nuclear weapons and Israel, because it was linked to this article, that could be added (if missing here). But till figure out what's happening with the mysterious new changes to Nuclear weapons and Israel, I won't do anything. (assuming I ever get around to it :-)
Carol Moore 15:37, 10 October 2007 (UTC)User:Carolmooredc User talk:Carolmooredc

interesting news story[edit]

[2] states that the US carried out the raid using tactical nukes. --Duk 22:57, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

It's an interesting theory, but i've removed that paragraph from the article. As far as I can see, it's one source (al-Jazeera, and I can't find the story on their English site anymore) picked up by one or two secondary sources. This is an extraordinary claim, that the US has used nukes for the first time since World War II, and I think we need to see more evidence before it's given prominence. Maybe if we added a section called "Alternative Theories", it would be appropriate there. But not in the main body until there's some follow-up. Dchall1 04:37, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
agree, I couldn't find the al-Jazeera original either. And I really don't think it's possible for a nuclear explosion to go undetected due to the emf/seismic/fallout/and sensors like this. I don't think it should go in the article without more solid reporting. --Duk 05:08, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree that there is no truth at all in the report, but it seems interesting as a "reaction" rather than as news that al Jazeera would report such a story. Perhaps you can think of a better way to phrase it to prevent it from being perceived as having any connection to reality? TewfikTalk 00:47, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I also concur. I can't say I believed it when I added it, but given the nature of information surrounding the event, thought it should go in at the time. Looks like this was just an example of some irresponsible reporting... Hiberniantears 00:59, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

The story was two part, one that the strike was carried out by the U.S. and second part by tactial nukes. If the Israelis used F117Nighthawk stealth fighters and one of their tactical nukes, then it would be easy to see how Amercian involvement would be conflated. The first part would make sense b/c the stealth fighter (really a bomber) have been retired and enough have been turned over to Israel for a squadron. And enough of their pilots have been trained. Stealth would explain the failure to detect on Syrian radar of the Soviet radar on Latakia naval base. An Israeli small tactical nuke would explain any residual radiation, which the Israelis are claiming b/c of the so called nuclear reator they "destroyed." Speculation! This whole wiki article is based upon speculation upon speculation. The only things we know for sure are that there was an 1) Israeli strike by 2)some unknown airplanes on a 3) Syrian building for 3) speulative Israeli reasons. Period! The info about the stealth fighters (F117 Nighthawks) being retired (b/c the B2 and the new raptors (F22) ars now in service) and turned over to Israel came from Mad Dog's post at Sic Semper Tyrannis which I could no longer find.Jerusalem Post artileGodspeed John Glenn! Will 11:01, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

There's no harm in including it, so long as we explicitly state that such and such a paper reported it and that it is not verified by anyone else. Joshdboz 18:21, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Definitely not nuclear.[edit]

The thing was not a nuclear reactor imported from north korea. That is obvious, because a reactor vessel is a large object, that only ships can transport over intercontinental distance. It would be magnitudes easier to stop and raid the Kim Jong-Il ship enroute by naval commando action, rather than wait for syrian delivery and organized a complicated and very costly aerial bombing.

The USA has in the past raided several "suspicious" North Korean ships in international waters, not caring a damn about UN condemnation and the jews are known to have obtained hundreds of tons of raw uranium for their Dimona atomic bomb manufacturing plant by raiding and pirating an arab merchant vessel in the early 1960's.

If the syrian target was a reactor, it must have been a chemical reactor used to cook poison gases for their ballistic missiles, which deterring force is used to balance the zionist nuclear arsenal, two different kinds of weapons of mass destruction. (talk) 20:14, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but as long as the information is sourced it has a place in this article. Joshdboz (talk) 20:17, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Non-nuclear nature of target is obvious, because not even arabs are stupid enough to build another atomic recator on the open surface, considering how easily jews managed to bomb Osirak to smitherers. They would install the nuclear reactor in a deep underground cave, invulnerable to aerial bombings. The USSR did this with the first five piles that produced isotopes for their early A-bombs, those were hidden 150 meters under the Ural mountains.
In contrast, surface location of the target suggests a chemical reactor for poison gas weapon manufacturing, which cannot be effectively hidden underground due to extensive ventillation requirements. (talk) 20:27, 13 April 2008 (UTC), I see some sense in what you say. However, you must find a credible source for this if we are even to begin serious discussion. Otherwise, this is WP:OR. Also, your argument that putting a nuclear reactor above ground would be stupid assumes that the Syrian government isn't stupid. I'm not saying that it is, I'm just saying that the assumption that Syria uses the same calculus you do is not solid proof that the site wasn't nuclear. Screen stalker (talk) 22:22, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Concur with screen stalker. The argument, while sensible, is an assumption. (talk) 23:19, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Conflicting information on wether US Gave approval.[edit]

According to this AP news story, the US didn't give approval:

"Senior U.S. officials said the U.S. military was not involved in the attack, and the U.S. government, although informed in advance, did not approve it.

'Israel made the decision to attack,' a senior administration official said. 'It did so without any so-called green light from us. None was asked for and none was given.'" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:50, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

You are absolutely correct. This dispute should be reflected in the article. I will add it at once. Screen stalker (talk) 16:46, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I already did, feel free to somehow integrate it to the article's flow --BirdKr (talk) 16:49, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

There may be some weaknesses in engineering expertise regarding some of the arguments as to what this facility was about. Setting that aside, I am curious as to why the two b&w photos in the article show the building with North at the bottom of the pictures (look at the shaddows) and are proportionately about 1:1.4 while the two color photos that show the entire site are oriented with North at the top and show the building with proportions that are quite close to square (1:1). Is the certainty level reasonably high that these photos are indeed of the same facilities? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:39, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Reference overhaul[edit]

Hello, everyone. I have begun an overhaul to make all references in this article more compact, consistent and complete. Please follow the following pattern for news references (I don't know what to do with the White House press release):

Last Name, First Name. "[ Title of Article", Source (NOT wikilinked), [[YYYY]]-[[MM-DD]]. Retrieved on [[YYYY]]-[[MM-DD]].

For example:

Mahnaimi, Uzi. "Snatched: Israeli commandos ‘nuclear’ raid", The Sunday Times, 2007-09-23. Retrieved on 2007-09-23.

It isn't as though there is only one right way to do this, but consistency is key. If someone prefers a different template, that's fine, but make sure to change all references to be consistent. Also, what I like about this template is that it is the default of the {{cite}} shortcut. This reminds me, please don't use {{cite}}. It clutters the editing space unnecessarily, and makes it really difficult to know where you are on the article, and not using it makes no difference to the reader. If you find it more convenient, then free to use it and then copy and paste so that it is not permanently present. I would really rather not go back and fix all the references again. Screen stalker (talk) 19:17, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Format consistency is nice, but the references now need more serious fixing, as some seem to have been switched and now have duplicate names. I'm finding it difficult to repair them, so you may need to follow up with checks and restorations. --Zigger «º» 02:00, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, Zigger. What do mean regarding beeing switched and having duplicate names? Could you provide an example? Screen stalker (talk) 19:32, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I had fixed up the errors I could find (see the revision history for details), but more ref-checking may be needed. --Zigger «º» 06:16, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the format consistency looks good. It’s just the references that need some work done to it.--DavidD4scnrt (talk) 06:53, 1 May 2008 (UTC)


I don't think this article is objective enough. It seems to have only three types of sources: officials (political, military and intelligence) from the three parties involved (Israel, Syria, USA.) -- and anonymous sources. Furthermore, it seems to state informations from those sources as facts, even thought they are 1) not proven, 2) come from involved parties. What this article is desperately missing is objective, named third party sources. Also, I get the feeling that the article is biased towards the US/Israeli opinion, because it gives almost no room at all for the many views out there which are sceptical about the US/Israeli statements. Offliner (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 14:27, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

I made some modifications and included a chapter about the sceptical views. I think this article is more balanced now.Offliner (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 16:27, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Again made some modifications to the article. This time to make the claims about a North Korean ship in Syria look less like a fact and more like a claim. Whover wrote those lines: next time you write for Wikipedia, please make sure that you don't make claims look like facts. Offliner (talk) 05:04, 22 October 2008 (UTC)


Coordinates of the site: 35.7078, 39.8333 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:34, 30 August 2008 (UTC)


Though referenced Syria does not operate the Tor-M1 missile system, this system is operated by Iran and not Syria which has purchased the Pantsyr-S1 system, this link and point should probably be removed.Typhoon9410 (talk) 18:21, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

IAEA Investigation[edit]

I've updated this section and the lede with more recent information, as much of the article was years out of date. Leuchars (talk) 01:40, 4 February 2010 (UTC)


This was a limited and precise air operation, like Opera and Wooden Leg, not a war or a large-scale armed conflict. That's why I changed the main box.--AndresHerutJaim (talk) 07:24, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Edits by User:MUCHERS22[edit]

I have reverted[3] who attempted to remove the phrase "due to Syria's failure to cooperate" from the sentence "An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigation reported evidence of uranium and graphite and concluded that the site bore features resembling an undeclared nuclear reactor, but was unable to confirm or deny the nature of the site due to Syria's failure to cooperate." As far as I can tell, the source cited[4] supports the "due to Syria's failure to cooperate" bit. The source mentions that, according to the IAEA report, Syria's assertion that the site was a conventional military site only, could not be verified because of Syria's "failing to back up its stance with documentation or by granting further access for IAEA sleuths to the bombed location and three others cited in U.S. intelligence handed to the U.N. watchdog last year". That seems to me to directly correspond to what the "due to Syria's failure to cooperate" bit says. Nsk92 (talk) 16:48, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Syrian Air Defense Allegedly Ordered to Stand Down[edit]

The Guardian newspaper has an article about an alleged first person account of the 2007 raid. A rebel going by the name Abu Mohammed claimed he answered a special glass encased red phone on the night of the raid and was told by the person on the other end of the line (allegedly a brigadier) to not engage enemy jets that were known to be approaching. Abu Mohammed further claimed that their radar systems became jammed right after the call.

If this account is to be believed, it raises new questions: 1) was the person on the other end of the red phone line actually a brigadier officer? 1a) if so, was he acting under orders from higher up, or on his own for what some reason? 1b) If acting under higher orders, why would Syria passively submit to such an attack? 2) Is it possible that Israel gained access to the Syrian military communication network and impersonated the brigadier on the other end of the line? From the article:

The red phone had been silent for more than 20 years, encased in reinforced glass in the corner of the major's office. When it rang just after midnight on 6 September 2007, the startled Syrian officers nearby had to remind themselves what to do.

"I told my colleagues that we had to break the case with a hammer, then answer it," said Abu Mohammed, a former air force major then based at an air defence station near the north-eastern city of Deir Azzor. "It had not even rung during a training exercise."

Abu Mohammed, now a senior member of the rebel movement in the north of the country, broke the glass. What followed, he said, were the most puzzling 10 minutes of his military career.

"I shattered the glass and answered the phone," he said. "There was a brigadier on the other end from the strategic air command in Damascus. He said: 'There are enemy planes approaching, you are not to do anything.'

"I was confused. Do nothing? This is what we were waiting for. We couldn't see them on our radars. And then our radars were jammed. The missile base nearby could not have fired even if it was allowed." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:08, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

These are interesting claims, but I don't know that adding unfounded speculation by a single source is a suitable role for Wikipedia .... RayTalk 12:49, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Supposed reactor[edit]

The site was claimed to be a nuclear reactor with a military purpose. That may or may not have been so. But to imply that the "site was a nuclear facility with a military purpose" is the same thing is wrong. Nuclear facility is not the same as reactor. (talk) 10:11, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

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