All the Dirt on High-Level Corruption and Cloak-and-Dagger Secrets

The Syrian ex-General Abdo Deri has lived in America for ten years. In the 1990s, he was an important man in Damascus, commander of the Syrian Navy and head of the Syrian military mission in Iran, with responsibility for Syrian military ties with the newly-created Revolutionary Guards Corps.

But then, in 1998, he became disenchanted with Hafez Assad, the incumbent Syrian president’s father and predecessor. One day he took off for a holiday in Europe and instead of returning home, continued to Washington, where he lived quietly for a while.

All of a sudden, the retired Syrian general decided to write a book – and not just an innocuous venture into literature.

“Fateful Days: A story of the Republic of Corruption and Tyranny,” may be the most scurrilous expose of a Middle East ruling caste ever to see the light of day. Published in English and Arabic in tens of thousands of copies, it quickly became a bestseller among expatriate Arab and Syria exile communities in Europe, in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. A few were smuggled into Syria where they were snapped up and passed from hand to hand.

Deri offered a first-hand account of the Assad clan, to whom he was once very close, which he describes as having transformed the regime from the government of the Syrian people to the government of the small Allawi sect, to which the Assads belong. His story purports to describe how the entire clan, including Bashar Assad, spent the last 30 years robbing the country and enriching itself to the tune of the astronomical sum of $25 billion. This money, said Gen. Deri, was invested in overseas businesses and deposited is secret foreign bank accounts.

Oddly enough, the book lacks the imprint of a publisher. The firm circulating “Fateful Days” is equally anonymous.


The Assads fight back with their own disclosures


No sooner was the book in circulation, when another small volume began making the rounds in Syria, Lebanon and the Persian Gulf, called “The Spy Rings Helping US War Plans against Syria since 2003” (the year the United States invaded Iraq).

The slapdash writing, editing and production, showed it had been put on the market in a hurry. The only feature in common to both works was the absence of a publisher’s name.

This work on purported anti-Syrian American spy rings set out to demonstrate that a Washington-Tel Aviv intelligence axis has been at work in the Middle East since 2003 to plan a war on Syria, because the Assads are the only Arab rulers to challenges American imperialism.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s intelligence sources find the most intriguing feature of the second book to be that Syrian intelligence was prepared to go public for the first time with intelligence secrets, some apparently factual, about spy networks in Syria alleged to be conspiring to overthrow the regime. National intelligence agencies normally keep these secrets very close to their chests.

The writers of the Syrian book describe four major spy networks:

1. The US Central Intelligence Agency and Israeli Mossad are said to have established a number of spy networks in Lebanon and Syria. Most of its members were said to be trained by French intelligence.

2. Both agencies are reported to operate a large Kurdish network, which has been at large for many years in Damascus and other Syrian cities. Since the US invasion of Iraq and establishment of autonomous Kurdistan, this Syrian network has been run from the new republic’s capital, Irbil. It has created many cells in the two-million strong Syrian Kurdish community and is reputed to be one of the most professional and efficient clandestine rings in the Middle East.

3. The CIA runs its own network of Iraqi exiles living in Syria. There are one and-a-half million Iraqi exiles permanently residing in Syria. This network operates in Iran too.

4. The CIA and Mossad maintain ties with spy rings planted in Damascus by various Arab governments. These ties are mainly useful for trading intelligence or helping with data cross-checks.

Our intelligence sources wonder if the literary contest is over, or more rounds – and intriguing disclosures – are still to come.

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