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Coordinates: 33°12′30″N 44°31′30″E / 33.20833°N 44.525°E / 33.20833; 44.525

Iran-Iraq War – Opera – Gulf War – 1991 uprisings – Provide Comfort – Southern Watch – 1993 cruise missile strikes – Kurdish Civil War – Desert Strike – Northern Watch – Desert Fox – Kurdistan Islamist Conflict – Southern Focus – Iraq War

Operation Babylon[1] (Codeword: Opera, Hebrew: אופרה‎)[2] was a surprise Israeli air strike carried out on June 7, 1981, that destroyed a nuclear reactor under construction 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq.[3][4][5]

In 1976, Iraq purchased an "Osiris"-class nuclear reactor from France.[6][7] Iraq and France maintained that the reactor, named Osirak by the French, was intended for peaceful scientific research.[8] The Israelis viewed the reactor with suspicion, saying that it was designed to make nuclear weapons.[3] On June 7, 1981, a flight of Israeli Air Force F-16A fighter aircraft, with an escort of F-15As, bombed and heavily damaged the Osirak reactor.[9] Israel claimed it acted in self-defense, and that the reactor had "less than a month to go" before "it might have become critical."[10] Ten Iraqi soldiers and one French civilian were killed.[11] The attack took place about three weeks before the elections for the Knesset.[12]

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