debkafile Exclusive: Israel may sell Turkey an Ofek spy satellite in a $300m deal

Our military sources disclose that, contrary to the public statements made by the Israeli defense minister in Ankara and prime minister Ehud Olmert in Berlin, arms transactions were the key topic of their talks in the two capitals Tuesday, Feb. 11. Israel has ordered from Germany 3 more Dolphin submarines to double its navy’s fleet of this type of sub which, according to foreign sources, is capable of carrying nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.
Our sources report that if Barak ties up the satellite deal with his hosts in Ankara, Turkey will be the second Middle East country in possession of a military surveillance satellite.
The deal has been approved by Washington. Both the US and Israel are anxious to build up military ties with Turkey to draw its government away from Iran.
In his talks with political and military leaders in Ankara, the Israeli defense minister also discussed the ongoing Turkish mediation effort between Israel and Syria.
According to our Middle East sources, Ibrahim Abe Suleiman, a Washington-based Syrian intelligence agent close to the Bashar government, and former Israeli foreign minister director-general Alon Oliel, landed in Ankara a few days before Barak. They met three times with Turkish Professor Mancur Akacun, who acts as an informal Ankara government emissary. Turkish officials then briefed the Israeli minister on how their government proposed to proceed in its mediation bid between Jerusalem and Damascus.

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