German spies working with Syria's notorious intelligence services

German spies working with Syria's notorious intelligence services
Syrian and German spies are sharing information on Islamist extremists, evidence that the regime's intelligence apparatus is likely to use to torture and kill critics.
2 min read
18 December, 2015
German spies are working with Syrian intelligence, known for their brutal treatment of prisoners [Getty]

Germany's intelligence agency are working with the Syrian regime's infamous intelligence services to combat the threat of Islamist extremists.

BND agents are cooperating with the Damascus' intelligence agency on a number of issues.

This is despite mounting proof that the Syrian intelligence is responsible for the abduction, torture, rape and killing of thousands of people, including children. 

Western governments have generally refused to cooperate with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for this reason.

The BND has not commented on the story published in Germany's Bild daily on Friday or said why they are working with the notorious intelligence agency.

The daily also revealed that German agents have been travelling regularly to Damascus for talks with their Syrian counterparts.

The relationship between the Bavarian-and-Berlin-based intelligence agency and Damascus is considered to be going well that it might break with European convention and reopen an office in the Syrian capital.

This is despite the Syrian regime's brutal military offensives, where barrel bombs dropped on rebel-held towns have left tens thousands of civilian dead.

Sources told Bild that Syrian and German agents have been exchanging information on Islamist extremists and wanted to open channels of communication in the event of any potential crisis.


Germany has deployed non-combat Tornado war planes over Syria, and is concerned about the possibility of a jet being shot down and pilots captured by extremists, such as the Islamic State group.  

The BND told AFP it only informs the government and a parliamentary oversight panel of "operative aspects" of its work.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been pushing for a diplomatic solution to end to Syria crisis.

She, like many other Western leaders, are hoping a compromise between warring Syrian parties.

This could allow efforts to be concentrated on fighting IS and reducing the number of refugees entering Europe.

However, the German leader has repeatedly ruled out working with Assad who she blames for "dropping barrel bombs on his own people", and whose regime was the main cause of the refugee exodus.