Here’s more evidence that the cradle of world oil production, the Mideast, stands at razor’s edge.
Der Spiegel takes a look at a secretive 2007 Israeli airstrike against a Syrian facility that may or may not have been a nuclear lab.
It’s an event that local residents discuss in whispers in teahouses along the river, when the water pipes glow and they are confident that no officials are listening — the subject is taboo in the state-controlled media, and they know that drawing too much attention to themselves in this authoritarian state could be hazardous to their health.
Some in Deir el-Zor talk of a bright flash which lit up the night in the distant desert. Others report seeing a gigantic column of smoke over the Euphrates, like a threatening finger. Some talk of omens, while others relate conspiracy theories. The pious older guests at Jisr al-Kabir, a popular restaurant near the city’s landmark suspension bridge, believe it was a sign from heaven.
All the rumours have long since muddied the waters as to what people may or may not have seen. But even the supposedly advanced Western world, with its state-of-the-art surveillance technology and interconnectedness through the mass media, has little more solid information than the people in this Syrian desert town. What happened in the night of Sept. 6, 2007 in the desert, 130 kilometers (81 miles) from the Iraqi border, 30 kilometers from Deir el-Zor, is one of the great mysteries of our times.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.