A former Syrian military officer who has had access to sensitive military information in Damascus confirmed Tuesday that Syria has been working on a clandestine nuclear program at least since 1986. He said many North Korean nationals are in Syria in relation to that program. He claimed that Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan has visited Syria several times since 1989, after being introduced to the Damascus Baathist regime by Libya. He also said Syria possesses the "latest Russian technology in air defense," but that it was reluctant to expose it during the latest attack because, two decades ago, such exposure allowed Israel to destroy all Syrian anti-aircraft missiles in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.