March 21, 2018
Press Release
IDF Special Announcement – Operation "Outside the Box" to Destroy a Nuclear Reactor in Deir ez-Zur, Syria (September 2007)
The IDF can clear for publication that in September 2007 IAF fighter jets destroyed a nuclear reactor that was being built in Syria.

The destruction of the nuclear reactor, known as Operation "Outside the Box", was carried out by IAF fighter jets following lengthy and complex intelligence and operational efforts and eliminated a nuclear threat against the State of Israel and the entire region.

Today it has been cleared for publication that during the night between September 5 and 6 2007, IAF fighter jets targeted and destroyed a nuclear reactor in advanced stages of construction in the Deir ez-Zor region, 450 kilometers north of Damascus.

Beginning late 2004, a vast intelligence effort including cooperation with security forces, provided a great deal of valuable information that ultimately led to the precise aerial attack. The IDF prepared for the destruction of the nuclear reactor with utmost precision whilst preparing for various scenarios and potential escalation.

The Chief of the General Staff at the time, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said with regards to destruction of the nuclear reactor: "As soon as the Prime Minister gave the IDF, under my command, the responsibility to destroy the nuclear reactor in Syria, it was clear to me that we must be prepared on the intelligence, operational and technological fronts in order to eliminate the nuclear threat against the State of Israel and the region while simultaneously taking the necessary steps to prevent an escalation to war; that if forced upon us – we will win a decisive victory!"

The Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, who serves as the Commanding Officer of the Northern Command at the time of Operation "Outside the Box" recently said: "The message from the attack on the nuclear reactor in 2007 is that the State of Israel will not allow the establishment of capabilities that threaten Israel's existence. This was our message in 2007, this remains our message today and will continue to be our message in the near and distant future."