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Insight: Assad Intelligence Infiltrates Rebels

Their plan was to cause contentions and troubles among rebels and brigades
Insight: Assad Intelligence Infiltrates Rebels

Bashar Assad's Air Force Intelligence has penetrated the Free Syriasn Army (FSA) and Islamist battalions  from top to bottom, a well-informed source told Zaman al-Wasl.


Some groups are even fully directed by intelligence forces, the source said.


A spy network within rebel brigades has been discovered, working in favor of the regime and for the Air Force Intelligence in particular, the source reported.


The spies were arrested working as members in some brigades. After interrogation, they confessed their plan was to cause contentions and troubles among rebels and brigades by circulating news about the intentions of some groups to assassinate the leaders of other brigades.


Moreover, they planned to assassinate large numbers of the largest brigade commanders in Hama, including Ahmed Berri, the source added.


Air Force Intelligence Headquarter in Aleppo considered the mpost powerfull HQ among regime security branches.


"It's very complicated, the employees are very distinct and clever. The military rankings are based on sectarian balance,'' the source said


Aleppo branch staff number around 200 employees, but pro-regime militia – known as Shabbiha –  are not allowed to enter the branch.


The source revealed that the most influential people in the branch is Major Mohammed Adib Salameh, head of the branch, and General Zuhair Bitar, head of the Information Department.


Abu Amir Salameh, a retired colonel responsible for managing the Shabbiha, also directs the office's financial dealings.


The vice president has no influence but only deals with tribes.


Colonel Ali Hasna, is responsible for transferring detainees to other provinces and follow detainees and categorise them according to labels such as “Alawites, important figures and military dissidents." He supervises and manages all assassinations for Alawites in particular, and he follows the handover of their bodies to families as "martyrs" to provoke the sect and the community.


The source said that Abu Amir Salameh’s driver, Tariq is also responsible for bringing women to the branch, as officers need to stay inside the branch most the time away from their families.


The source confirmed that General Zuhair Al Bitar has sent his wife and children to the United States of America to obtain asylum.


The source said that dissidents are rare in the Air force Intelligence. So far only three have defected, the first being Nazir Khalid who was assassinated in Andan, in Aleppo, with $3 million paid for members in Free Syrian Army to perform the operation.


The second defector, Akram, was arrested in Damascus but no one knows what happened to him since. The source believed that he was killed. The third dissident was Khaled Mousa Abu Bilal, who was head of the Central Bureau.


“The escape of one member of the Air forces intelligence is very serious –  more important than controlling a whole neighborhood by terrorists. Searching for him and killing him is more important than killing a thousand terrorists", said Major Adib Salameh in regard to the seriousness of dissidence.


The source indicated that pro-regime militia were behind all the killings at the al-Nahr prison massacre, in particular the Abo Ali Kazak group. Most of the victims were arrested from Baghdad Station or detainees died under torture.


The source added that  bodies were disposed of intermittedly over a period of about a month.


The source also confirmed that Air force intelligence in Aleppo has never been under siege and things have been operating normally apart from some shelling, which casued no  harm or deaths.


He explained that there are more than 13 barriers around the branch, and that the FSA must pass them all before accessing the branch.


Besides that, Republican Guards are present.


The source stressed that the regime protects the Air Force Intelligence branches securely and considers their fall a "red line" compared to other intelligence sites in the western regions of Aleppo.


The source also confirmed that there was no transfer of any documents outside the branch.


The source moreover detailed that members of the al-Bijj family come to the branch hooded and it seems they have undertaken important tasks to keep the poor liberated areas under Free Syrian Army control.


There are also many “Sleeper cells” in liberated areas, one being in Dahrat Awwad.


The source said that Major Adib Salameh expressed more than once that the Air force intelligence prefers to increase the number of FSA fighting groups and battalions, as the more the better for the regime, and he saw that it would be better not to establish any civilian services like traffic police, sanitary or water in the liberated areas.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer


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