Thursday, 9 October 2014

Russian espionage network in Syria exposed as more facilities are uncovered

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

After the initial news about the Russian spy facility Center S, more information on the now infamous Russian espionage network in Syria has become available, and it turns out Center S isn't the only Russian operated espionage facility in Syria. While the existence of a second facility, Center S-2, was quickly confirmed by a badge commemorating the ten year anniversary of this base, it now appears there's a third facility around.

A high resolution photo of one of the maps in the operations room of Center-S reveals the location of three marked places inside Syrian held territory, connected by double lines. Oddly enough, a secondary set of lines continues to Cyprus through Lebanon and even to Amman, Jordan. It is currently unknown what these lines are supposed to signify.

Center S, located near al-Hara, can be seen in middle, which leaves the Northern and Southern bases unaccounted for. As other Syrian military bases are not marked on the map, it suggests only SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) bases are shown.

The one to the North brings us to a hill near Jaba.

While the one to the South brings us to another hill, near the town of Nawa.

Interestingly, all three facilities are based on and (presumably) in hills, a rare sight in Syria's Southern West. As Center S and S-2 account for two of these bases, this leaves a third possible candidate, (likely named Center S-1 or Center S-3), proving Russian involvement in espionage activities in Israel to be significantly larger than originally thought.

The departure of the Russians from Center S is described in an article written for The Daily Beast;

''Firas Al Hawrani, the official spokesman for the FSA in southern Syria, told The Daily Beast Monday that FSA forces had seen about 15 Russian personnel operating in the Al Harah area before the FSA took the facility, but they left before the area fell out of regime control. “The Russians who were at the Al Harah mountain, the regime took them to Damascus by plane two weeks ago,” he said.''

No reports are available on the status and exact function of the other two bases, but it is presumed both are still being operated by the Russian Osnaz. Nevertheless, in light of the Free Syrian Army's advance in the Quneitra region Moscow seriously has to reconsider its stance on keeping the other two bases operational,

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  1. You asked 'Oddly enough, a secondary set of lines continues to Cyprus through Lebanon and even to Amman, Jordan'.

    Russia has diplomatic missions in all three countries, pesumably with some SIGINT capacity so they could offer support.