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Wed Aug 28, 2013, 12:00 AM

Israel may have intercepted Syrian discussions about chemical attack

Israel may have intercepted Syrian discussions about chemical attack


http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-syria-israel-intelligence-chemical-attack-20130827,0,1940412.story

By Ken Dilanian
August 27, 2013, 2:25 p.m.

WASHINGTON -- An elite Israeli intelligence unit intercepted conversations among high ranking Syrian government officials discussing last week’s apparent chemical attack outside Damascus as it unfolded, a German news magazine has reported.

Citing an anonymous Israeli ex-intelligence official, Germany’s Focus magazine said Saturday that Israel’s secretive signals intelligence agency, Unit 8200, eavesdropped on a conversation between senior Syrian officials about use of chemical agents.

On Friday, Israel’s Channel 2 reported that rockets containing chemical agents were fired by the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division, a division under the command of the Syrian president’s brother, Maher Assad.

The shells were reportedly fired from a military base in a mountain range west of Damascus, the news channel said, without disclosing its sources.

snip
CNN cited U.S. officials Tuesday as saying that intercepted conversations would be included in a U.S. intelligence assessment that the White House will release to the public.

U.S. intelligence agencies long have relied on Israel to help provide intelligence about Syria. Israel’s spy services have many more Arabic-speakers than do the CIA and National Security Agency, and Israel is believed to have a network of spies within Syria.

Still, a former CIA officer with long Middle East experience advised skepticism of purported leaked intercepts. Israel would be reluctant to disclose that it could listen in on senior Syrian figures, he said.

“Because once you do that, it goes away,” he said, asking not to be quoted by name speaking about sensitive intelligence matters.

However, he acknowledged that Israel has superior intelligence coverage of Syria.

“They only do a few things, and they do them very well,” he said. “They collect mainly on the countries that border them, and because they focus only on those targets, they are very effective. Their technical ability is on par with much larger nations.”

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Reply Israel may have intercepted Syrian discussions about chemical attack (Original post)
KittyWampus Aug 2013 OP
msongs Aug 2013 #1
HeiressofBickworth Aug 2013 #2
Alamuti Lotus Aug 2013 #3
Behind the Aegis Aug 2013 #4

Response to KittyWampus (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 12:17 AM

1. depends on whether you choose to believe anything the Israelis say or not nt

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Response to KittyWampus (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 12:18 AM

2. I'm sure this will enflame the fans

but my first thought was to not believe a report supposedly from Israeli intelligence forces. First, how to confirm the information was actually obtained by the government of Israel. Second, evaluate the purpose of such a disclosure -- perhaps another ploy to get the US involved fighting in Israel's behalf. Third, I haven't seen anything that confirms an attack by gas nor the agents who launched such an attack. All of this is too freakingly reminiscent of the wind-up to the Iraq invasion on faulty intelligence.

And, even if the attack is proved, gas was used, and we know who did it, why is the US always called upon to spend our lives and riches as police of the world. Given current problems in our country, we should be using our assets for our own improvement.

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Response to KittyWampus (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 12:20 AM

3. "intercepted" / "fabricated" -- same amount of syllables, what's the difference..

 

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Response to KittyWampus (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 12:42 AM

4. Could be.

I have to go with the former CIA officer, and guess that Israel would be reluctant to let Syria know who and when they can hear things. Also, given that most of the information is coming out from other groups, Israel would be even more unlikely to let that information "leak." Given the source, I would say it might be a set up to blame Israel for any action taken by the US. All the information that is contained in there was already available from other source which went on record. So why all the unnamed sources? There are many already blaming Israel, and they would love nothing more than to add to their signature line some bullshit like this.

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