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» February 24, 2011
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Syria May Have Built Atom Site Near Damascus-Report


Dair Alzour Site in Syria

Western intelligence agencies suspect Syria may have been building a secret nuclear-related site near Damascus, a German daily said, and a U.S. think-tank suggested it could be linked to a site bombed by Israel in 2007.

If confirmed, Thursday's report by the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper would add to Western fears that the Arab state had engaged in covert nuclear activity before the Israeli attack and may increase pressure for action by the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

 The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington-based think-tank, said the operational status of what it suspected was a small uranium conversion facility near the town of Marj as Sultan was not known.

"However, there is suspicion that Syria may have emptied the buildings prior to mid-2008 and taken steps to disguise previous activities at the site," it said in an analysis issued alongside the German newspaper report.

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