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. Bush keeps mum about Israel/Syria strike
WASHINGTON, Oct 17 (AFP) Oct 17, 2007
US President George W. Bush on Wednesday refused to comment on media reports that an Israeli air strike in Syria last month hit a nuclear site, saying no "clever ruse" would get him to talk.

"This is not my first rodeo," the president told reporters trying to pry information from him during a White House press conference on the mysterious September 6 attack.

As part of his stonewall, Bush declined to say whether he supported Israel's June 1981 air strike on the Osirak nuclear reactor outside of Baghdad.

"I don't remember what I was doing in 1980 -- let's see, I was living in Midland, Texas. I don't remember my reaction that far back," he said, adding that he was "trying to make a living for my family" at the time.

His comments came as Syria denied media reports suggesting that its UN envoy had said a nuclear site was hit in an Israeli air strike last month, insisting there was no such facility on its soil.

According to a New York Times report on Sunday, Israeli warplanes bombed a site that Israeli and US intelligence believe was a partly built nuclear reactor possibly modelled after one in North Korea.

Citing unnamed US and foreign officials with access to the intelligence reports, the report said it appeared Israel carried out the raid to demonstrate its determination to snuff out even a nascent nuclear project.

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