In what is the first confirmed instance of a foreign military directly aiding Syria’s rebels, German media outlets are reporting that the German Navy is using a spy vessel to collect information about Syrian troop movements and is forwarding that intelligence to the rebel fighters.
The boat, which patrols the eastern Mediterranean for NATO, can collect information on troop movements as deep as 375 miles inland. The spy boat is also forwarding intelligence to the rebels provided by US and British spy agencies.
Several NATO member nations have expressed interest in involving themselves in a war in Syria, but Germany was not generally considered among the most hawkish group, led by France. The German government declined comment on the report, as did British and US officials asked about their role in the scheme.
The revelation could prove problematic to NATO attempts to propose solutions as a “neutral party” to the ongoing civil war. NATO hasn’t been quiet about the support for the rebels but direct military backing would harm any credibility they have on the matter, and is bound to make Russia even more reluctant to approve NATO measures.
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