BERLIN (JPost) – Germany is helping Syrian rebels by providing them with information gathered by a German navy vessel Alster off the coast of Syria, a newspaper said on Sunday, without citing sources.
Germany’s Bild am Sonntag said the boat had spying equipment from the German intelligence service on board, enabling it to observe Syrian troop movements up to 600 km inland.
Information on the military operations of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s troops that is collected by the ship is passed on to US and British secret services, who then give it to the Free Syrian Army, Bild said.
Do we need a reminder of the US Naval Intelligence vessel USS Liberty in 1967?
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A spokesman for the German Defense Ministry said a German navy ship equipped with telecommunications and reconnaissance technology that normally patrols the international waters of the eastern Mediterranean was in a harbor in Sardinia. Ships of this type are used to collect information but the ministry would not comment on details, he said.
A German government spokesman said the government did not comment on intelligence service activities. The German intelligence service declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Britain’s Foreign Office declined to comment. She reiterated that Britain was giving non-lethal support to Syria’s opposition.
No one was immediately available for comment at the US State Department.
Bild also said German intelligence service agents were stationed at a NATO base in the Turkish city of Adana, where they were intercepting telephone calls and radio communications from Syria.
(Naharnet) – “We can be proud of the significant contribution we are making to the fall of the Assad regime,” an official from Germany’s BND foreign intelligence service told Bild am Sonntag.
The paper said German spies were stationed off the Syrian coast and also active at a NATO base in Turkey, whose government is staunchly opposed to the Assad regime and is sheltering Free Syrian Army rebels.
Berlin insists military intervention is not the way to solve the conflict but Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said earlier this month that Germany must help in other ways, providing humanitarian aid and logistical support.
Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper also said British intelligence was helping rebels launch successful attacks on government forces with information gathered from their listening posts in nearby Cyprus.