Syria Rebuilds Mystery Structure

New building goes up on suspected nuclear site bombed by Israel
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2008 11:56 AM CST
Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, smiles during a conference in this file photo. Dr ElBaradei says that the Syrians would not allow his agency's inspectors in to examine...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Syria appears to be rebuilding on the site of a suspected nuclear reactor Israeli bombers destroyed in September, the New York Times reports. The new building, shown in satellite photographs to have the same footprint, is not expected to be a reactor, but there are concerns that it could cover up evidence of a secret nuclear program. The Syrians razed the old building and cleaned the site so thoroughly analysts called it a tacit admission of guilt, the Times says.

The Syrians have always claimed that the bombed building was only a military warehouse. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said that Syria wasn't letting the agency's inspectors in, but that they have technology to detect any nuclear facility there. He said the new photos raised doubts the bombed building had been a reactor.