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Sunday, September 01, 2013

British intelligence caught Syrian commanders telling captain 'fire chemicals or be shot'

Part of the evidence that the West has that the Assad regime carried out chemical weapons attacks against his people is conversations overheard by RAF eavesdropping in which a Syrian army captain was ordered by senior commanders to fire chemicals at civilians or be shot.
In one heated exchange, a regional commander was overheard demanding the captain of an artillery battery in a Government-held suburb of Damascus to fire chemical shells.
When the officer protested, he was told “in direct terms” that failure to comply would result in him facing a firing squad, and the chemical weapons were then fired.
Last night the senior RAF officer said: “The commander of the artillery battery told the regional commander that he would not comply and there was a heated exchange. He was told in direct language that unless the order was carried out, he would be shot. A total of 27 chemical artillery shells were then fired at the suburb in a 14-minute period.”
The conversation was monitored and recorded by British officers based at the remote mountain-top RAF Troodos Signals Intelligence listening post in Cyprus and within minutes details of the conversation had been relayed to GCHQ, Whitehall and the Pentagon.
But don't expect British monitoring to happen again anytime soon.
Last night senior Ministry of Defence sources confirmed that the Prime Minister was aware of several intercepts that had been picked up by nuclear submarine HMS Tireless, by RAF spy planes and by the Troodos listening station but they said the messages were initially treated with “caution” by analysts, who feared they might be fakes “planted” by rebels desperate for Western military support.
Thursday night’s Commons defeat of Mr Cameron’s planned military action against Syria led to the immediate recall of all British special forces in the country.
Crucially, it also ended Britain’s valuable help in the hunt for 10 senior leaders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (known as Aqab)who are said to have entered Syria from Yemen to infiltrate rebel forces.
Aqab has been co-coordinating and directing anti-government attacks in Syria since April, using brutal violence to generate support among rebel fighters.
 What could go wrong?

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