Four decades ago, a squadron of Israeli fighter jets on a secret mission snuck over Saudi Arabian airspace and swooped in to destroy an Iraqi nuclear reactor site that was being built by French and Italian engineers just outside Baghdad. It was a surprise attack lauded by Israel’s defenders and cited as an example of effective derring-do, showing how raw military power could serve as a tool of arms control. But a trove of previously secret United States documents released on Monday by a Washington organisation strongly suggests that Iraq’s nuclear ambitions had already been secretly contained by the Europeans who were building the bombed research reactor at Osirak. Moreover, the 7 June 1981 attack may have actually encouraged then Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein to step up his quest for weapons of mass destruction.
Independent 7th June 2021 read more »