Operation Orchard

Stand for Israel  |  September 5, 2022

Fifteen years ago, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out a mission that, as always, kept the Holy Land and her people safe. The mission, called both Operation Orchard and Operation Outside the Box, involved an airstrike (and all the planning behind it) on a secret nuclear facility in Syria, one of Israel’s neighbors sworn to her destruction.

Syria’s Nuclear Aspirations

The mission began in 2001, when Bashar al-Assad was inducted as Syria’s president. The Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, noticed that al-Assad began receiving visits from North Korea. raising suspicions that Syria meant to gain nuclear capabilities – capabilities surely meant to wipe Israel off the map. At the same time, Israel’s greatest ally, the United States, traced multiple communications between Syria and North Korea, placing them at a desert locale known as al-Kibar.

In 2006, Mossad operatives discovered a Syrian official’s laptop in London, examining his computer and monitoring his activities. The activities pointed to Syria and North Korea cooperating on the development of nuclear weapons at the al-Kibar facility.

A Secret Desert Nuclear Site

In July 2007, an explosion occurred at the facility, during Syria’s attempts to weaponize a Scud missile with mustard gas. Around the same time, Israel managed to infiltrate the facility, and soon Israeli commandos raided it, bringing nuclear material back to Israel as proof of Syria’s diabolical intentions.

The U.S. did not bomb the nuclear facility, for fear of causing an all-out war. But Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert adhered to what is known as the Begin Doctrine – laid out in 1981 as “On no account shall we permit an enemy to develop weapons of mass destruction against the people of Israel,” said PM Menachem Begin. “We shall defend the citizens of Israel in good time and with all the means at our disposal.” And defend the citizens of Israel, the IDF did.

Operation Orchard

Ten Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-15 fighter jets headed toward Syria, escorted by F-16 fighters and electronic-warfare aircraft. The fighters bombed a Syrian radar site, while the electronic-warfare planes took over Syrian air defenses, feeding them a false picture of clear skies.

With the Syrians unaware of the approaching Israeli fighters, they were unable to do anything but watch as laser-guided bombs rained down on the nuclear facility, completely destroying it, along with al-Assad’s evil hopes and dreams.

With Operation Orchard, the IDF (and Israel’s American allies) did what they always do – defend the citizens of Israel – and for that all those who stand for Israel salute them.