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German Spies Active Off Syria Coast: Report

Aug. 19, 2012 - 12:41PM   |  
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BERLIN — German spies are stationed off the Syrian coast and are passing on information designed to help rebels in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad, a newspaper reported on Aug. 19.

Agents from Germany’s foreign intelligence service (BND) are operating on ships off the coast with technology allowing them to observe troop movements 600 kilometers (400 miles) inside the country, said the Bild am Sonntag weekly.

They pass their findings onto U.S. and British officers who then supply the rebels with the information, Bild said.

The paper quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying that “no Western intelligence service has such good sources inside Syria” as Germany’s BND.

A defense ministry spokesman told AFP it was “correct that a ship is currently on an operation in the region that is due to last several months” but denied it was a “spy boat” as it has been presented in the German press.

“We do not give out information regarding operational details of the current mission,” the spokesman added.

German agents are also active in the Syrian conflict from the NATO base in the Turkish city of Adana, according to Bild.

“We can be proud of the significant contribution we are making to the fall of the Assad regime,” a BND official told Bild.

Berlin insists military intervention is not the way to solve the conflict but Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere said earlier this month that Germany must help in other ways, providing humanitarian aid and logistical support.

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