Uri Bar-Joseph

Bombed Out: In 2002, journalists tour the site of the nuclear reactor bombed by Israel during an air raid in 1981.

Lessons of Operation Opera

Thirty years ago, on June 7 at 5:31 in the evening, eight Israeli F-16s attacked Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor near Baghdad. Within 80 seconds they dropped 16 MK-84 iron bombs. When the last two were released by Ilan Ramon — who would become the first Israeli astronaut and one of the crewmembers killed in the 2003 Columbia space shuttle accident — the target was already destroyed. An hour later the pilots landed in the Etzion Airbase near Eilat. Operation “Opera,” the first successful raid against a nuclear reactor, came to its end.