The entire free world owes Israel an enormous debt of gratitude.

Were it not for a prescient strike against a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, which foreign media sources credit Israel with carrying out, the fanatics of Islamic State would now be in possession of their own nuclear facility.

This revelation came to light thanks to a recent article on the NK News website by former US diplomat Dennis P. Halpin, who highlighted an intriguing tidbit of information that was otherwise almost completely ignored by the mainstream press.

Back on June 30, the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, which aims to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, posted a satellite imagery brief which revealed that, “The destroyed reactor site in Syria is now under the control of ISIL/Daesh [Islamic State, or IS], which is apparently dismantling and possibly conducting excavation activities at the site.”

Halpin, who is currently a visiting scholar at the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, was the first to point out the significance of the satellite data and he did not mince words in describing it: “If it were not for ‘Operation Orchard’ – the Israeli air strike conducted on the Al Kibar reactor on September 6, 2007 – ISIL fighters could well be armed today with atomic weaponry rather than just captured U.S. tanks and Kalashnikov rifles.”

According to foreign media reports, Israeli special forces along with aircraft hit the atomic facility, which the Syrian government was building with help from North Korea, in the Deir ez-Zor region of the country.

On April 24, 2008, more than seven months later, the White House press secretary issued an unusual statement saying that Syria had indeed been “building a covert nuclear reactor in its eastern desert capable of producing plutonium.”

Based on intelligence, the US said there was “good reason to believe that reactor, which was damaged beyond repair on September 6 of last year, was not intended for peaceful purposes,” and it noted that “after it was destroyed, the regime moved quickly to bury evidence of its existence. This cover-up only served to reinforce our confidence that this reactor was not intended for peaceful activities.”

Now jump back to the present, and consider what the current situation might be had that Syrian reactor been left in place: it would now be in the hands of IS.

Just the thought of a nuclear-armed Islamic State, which enthusiastically revels in the shedding of blood, should be enough to send chills down the spine.

Read the full article at The Jerusalem Post