Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday a 2007 strike on a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor was a message to his country's enemies, after the military acknowledged the raid for the first time.
Syria, a signatory of the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has always denied the site was a reactor or that Damascus engaged in nuclear cooperation with North Korea.
It released newly declassified materials related to the air raid on 5-6 September 2007.
"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", the statement said.
Three years later, on April 28, 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that the target bombed by the IDF aircraft was a "nuclear reactor under construction", after the IAEA rejected all the Syrian claims about the origin of the uranium remnants and even accused it of concealing information.
"The nuclear reactor being held by Assad would have had severe strategic implications on the entire Middle East as well as Israel and Syria", it said.
The Trump administration has also been locked in nuclear brinkmanship with North Korea - which the United States previously said it believed supplied the Al-Kubar reactor.
Israel said four F-16s and four F-15s fighter jets bombed the facility.
The story begins with Libya's announcement four years earlier, in 2003, of its decision to halt its nuclear program.
"We will never let Iran develop nuclear weapons, not now, not in ten years, not ever", the premiered declared to wild applause at the annual AIPAC conference in Washington. "The operation was deemed a success by the Chief of the General Staff".
"I don't give them the exact details of the target and its essence, but I say that there's going to be a significant attack in the upcoming 24-48 hours, an event that in low likeliness could lead to war", he said.
Both Iran and Hezbollah are allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Israel has expressed growing concern over what it sees as Iran's attempts to entrench itself militarily in Syria. Israel responded by bombing Syrian anti-aircraft batteries.
It also accuses Iran of seeking to build factories to construct precision-guided missiles in Syria and Lebanon that could be used against Israel.
"The courageous decision of the Israeli government nearly 11 years ago to destroy the nuclear reactor in Syria and the successful operation following it sends a clear message: Israel will never allow nuclear weapons to countries like Iran who threaten its existence", he wrote on Twitter. Throughout Syria's seven-year civil war, Israel has carried out well over 100 airstrikes, most believed to have been aimed at suspected weapons shipments destined for the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group. "This was the message in 1981, this is the message in 2007 and this is the future message to our enemies".
Eisenkot spoke of the "message" of the 2007 strike, while making reference to a 1981 Israeli raid against a nuclear reactor in Iraq.