The next time someone tries to tout Al Jazeera as a credible news source, show them this item, which appeared on the Qatar-based network (and its website) a couple of days ago.
According to the article (which has been republished by the Jerusalem Post and other media outlets in the region), that September raid on a Syrian nuclear facility was actually a joint operation between the U.S. Air Force and the Israeli Air Force. Better yet, "sources" tell Al Jazeera that USAF jets used tactical nuclear weapons in the attack.
Never mind that this claim has no basis in fact. Always eager to make America look bad--and advance that old standy, the "International Zionist Conspiracy,"--Al Jazeera was quite happy to post the claim, despite a complete lack of proof. While the report was attributed to "Arab and Israeli" sources, they must be among the most uninformed in the Middle East.
Consider these rather inconvenient truths. First, neither the USAF nor the IAF would require "outside" assistance to mount a strike on that Syrian target. Indeed, the potential detection of multiple formations, ingressing from opposite directions, would almost certainly attract the attention of Syrian air defense units, and increase chances for a strong response.
Previous reports suggest that the IAF was able to fly through Syrian airspace and strike the target without detection. Trying to deconflict that mission with a USAF formation--while far from impossible--would certainly complicate planning, and reduce chances for attaining tactical surprise--an important consideration for any lightning strike.
Then, there's the claim about tactical nukes. You don't need to be a physicist to understand that a nuclear weapon--even one "dialed down" to produce a very small yield--would still leave a large crater, and devastate structures within 3-5 km of ground zero, including that pumping station on the Euphrates River. Recent satellite imagery of the area indicates that the pumping facility is intact, and there are no signs of damage consistent with a nuclear detonation.
Additionally, the process of removing contaminated debris and filling in the hole would require the assistance of decontamination teams, slowing the overall process and producing tell-tale signs of nuclear employment, including specialized vehicles and other equipment. So far, there have been no reports of decontamination activity at the site, contradicting Al Jazeera's claims.
Finally, there's the matter of space and ground-based sensors that would detect the flash and seismic activity associated with a nuclear detonation. Some of those sensors belong to research institutes and organizations that are not controlled by the U.S. government. In the aftermath of a nuclear strike on that Syrian facility, those organizations would almost certainly report the activity they detected. Once again, there has been no confirmation from those organizations.
Couple that with the blowback from an American nuclear strike on Arab soil, and you've got compelling reasons for the U.S. to let Israel do the job. And, by all accounts that's what happened. Using conventional weapons, IAF strike fighters and commandos destroyed the Syrian facility and may have taken equipment and/or soil samples as well.
But lest we forget, responsible reporting has never been the hallmark of Al Jazeera, Anxious to advance an anti-American agenda, the so-called Arab "news" network willingly recycles the most outrageous lies and distortions--"information" that will only further inflame an already voliatle region. In that respect, Al Jazeera isn't much different from its more established--and supposedly more responsible--western counterparts.