'Syria Site Bombed by Israel in 2007 Likely to Have Been a Nuclear Reactor'

New IAEA report includes clearer language than previously used in its analysis of the bombed site.

Uranium particles found by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Syria are an indication that a site bombed by Israel in 2007 could indeed have been a nuclear reactor, the organization said in a new report Thursday.

The report included clearer language than previously used in IAEA analysis of the bombed site, known as al-Kibar or Dair Alzour, which Syria claims was not built for nuclear purposes.

"The presence of such particles points to the possibility of nuclear-related activities at the site and adds questions concerning the nature of the destroyed building," IAEA chief Yukiya Amano wrote in his report to agency member states.

Syria has said the traces of man-made uranium came from Israeli munitions dropped on al-Kibar in September 2007, but Amano countered that "Syria has yet to provide a satisfactory explanation for the origin and presence of these particles."

However, he also reminded Israel that it should do more to help clear up Syria's allegation about the source of the material.

Syria has declined to engage IAEA experts in any substantive discussions, has not provided detailed information, and has not given agency inspectors access to al-Kibar and three other suspect sites, Amano wrote.

The IAEA only made progress in analyzing samples from a small research reactor near Damascus, a site known and monitored by the IAEA.

The analysis confirmed Syria's admission in November last year that it had conducted experiments with uranium, but IAEA experts are seeking further clarification regarding the uranium particles at al- Kibar.

The U.S. has alleged that the al-Kibar reactor was being built with North Korean help to produce plutonium, a metal used in nuclear weapons.