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Germany, Syria resume intelligence cooperation: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
An aerial view taken on May 8, 2015 shows radar domes on the grounds of a German intelligence service BND post in southern Germany. (Photo by AFP)

Germany and Syria have reportedly renewed their intelligence cooperation, with no details available on the nature of such interaction.

The daily Bild reported on Friday that the cooperation had resumed between Germany's foreign intelligence agency BND and the Syrian secret service following recurrent visits by BND operatives to Damascus, where they talked to their Syrian counterparts.

Citing “informed sources,” the paper also said the BND sought to reopen an office in the Syrian capital.

A BND official told AFP that it was only responsive to Berlin as well as a parliamentary committee regarding its work.

“I can’t comment on operative details of the BND’s work,” German Government spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz also said.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and left over one million injured since March 2011, according to the United Nations. The crisis has also displaced nearly half of the country’s population.

Militants loyal to al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front in the northwestern Syria city of Idlib on March 28, 2015 (Photo by AFP)

Germany currently provides non-combat support to a US-led coalition that has been pounding purported Daesh positions inside Syria since last September without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. The mission has fallen severely short of dislodging the terrorists 

Bild am Sonntag, another German newspaper, reported late last month that the country planned to deploy 1,200 troops to support a naval frigate as well as reconnaissance and refueling aircraft that it has pledged to send to the purported battle against Daesh terrorists in Syria.

Under the plan, a German naval frigate would escort France’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier and German jets would be used to photograph the region and refuel US-led coalition jets.

The resumption of intelligence cooperation between Germany and Syria comes amid a perceived shift in West’s approach toward the Syrian government.

Western countries previously insisted on the removal of President Bashar al-Assad but they have recently begun to acknowledge the Syrian government's role in the fight against terrorism.

In remarks marking such a potential shift, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday that the fate of Assad should not take center stage in the international efforts aimed at resolving the crisis in Syria.


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