As we learned today, Israel has taken responsibility for a daring 2007 raid on a Syrian nuclear reactor. The Jerusalem Post's Yaakov Katz shares with us the recollections of one of the IAF pilots who took part in this historic mission to keep the Holy Land safe:
It was only on September 5 that Lt.-Col. Dror learned what his target would be. For months, he had been training alongside seven other pilots for a longrange strike in an unspecified country.
All Dror knew was the range, and that the target was a building that needed to be destroyed. On some days he would draw an imaginary line in his head using the range for which he was training and try and figure what might be the target. It could have been anywhere from Syria to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or beyond.
He knew it was something special. As a deputy commander of the Israel Air Force’s 69th “Hammer” Squadron, Dror had flown hundreds of combat operations. In each of those cases he knew the target ahead of time. In this case, though, only a handful of people even knew an operation was being planned.
But on September 5, as prime minister Ehud Olmert convened his security cabinet in Jerusalem to approve the bombing of Syria’s rogue nuclear reactor, at the Hatzerim Air Force Base outside Beersheba, the pilots gathered to be briefed on their mission.
“Your target is a nuclear reactor,” they were told.