Israeli spying devices discovered earlier by Syria on its Mediterranean coast had been planted to monitor Russian naval movements, a new report says.
Israel’s naval commando unit Flotilla 13 had planted the spying equipment on a tiny island opposite the Syrian port city of Tartus, close to a Russian naval base, the UK ' sSunday Times newspaper reported on Sunday. Citing a report by Lebanese television Al-Manar, the British daily added that the devices could be employed to track the Russian warships’ movements and transmit pictures to Israel in real time via satellite. Earlier in March, Syria said that Israeli spying devices were found on its Mediterranean coast. Syria’s state television released footage of the equipment hidden in objects that resembled rocks. Russia has criticized the Western countries’ support for the militants in the Arab country. In mid-January, Russia launched its largest naval exercises in decades in the Mediterranean and Black Seas near the territorial waters of Syria amid the ongoing crisis in the Arab country. In February, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that a flotilla of four Russian warships headed to the Mediterranean Sea near the Syrian waters to join an escort ship and smaller vessels. Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence. The Syrian government has said that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and that a very large number of the militants operating in the country are foreign nationals.