Syrian rebel forces fighting the government of President Bashar Assad overran a military intelligence base on the Golan Heights that served as a joint Russian-Syrian forward post for information-gathering on Israel.
In a four-minute video clip which was posted on the Internet by the rebels, Free Syrian Army fighters are seen in a building in Quneitra, just near the boundary between Syria and the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.
The footage shows pictures of Russian officers visiting the base as well as Russian-language maps of Israel. There are also photographs of the Russian defense minister’s top intelligence advisor as well as various other senior Russian defense and military officials having once visited the base.
The base, which goes by the name “C,” is situated on the “Tel al-Hara” hill in Quneitra.
The footage and evidence found suggests that Russian and Syrian spies used the premises to analyze raw espionage data which was gathered by troops from both countries.
One of the documents seized by FSA rebels and dated May 31, 2014 gives an order to intelligence officers at the base to “record all of the wireless conversations between the terrorist groups,” a reference to the coalition of organizations seeking to topple the Damascus government.
The FSA officer seen in the footage appealed to “all the honorable people of Russia” to urge their government to cease all cooperation with forces loyal to Assad, “who are murdering children and women and using chemical weapons against civilians.”