On October 24, Moscow will provide Ankara with intelligence information about the Turkish operation “Euphrates Shield” in Syria, Izvestia newspaper reported. An informed source said to the newspaper, the agreement on the transfer of intelligence information was reached during a recent visit of Russian leadership to Turkey.
“The chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Viktor Gerasimov, was a member of the Russian delegation and held talks with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar. The sides reached an agreement regarding the transfer of intelligence, useful to the Turkish military during the operation ‘Euphrates Shield.’ The two sides also discussed the information specifically, regarding how and in what format it will be provided,” the source told Izvestia.
In turn, as the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, Franz Klintsevich said to the newspaper, “Turkey privately joined the pool of intelligence sharing created by Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran…We pass the radio intercept data to the Turkish side and also radio engineering and optical imagery intelligence that may be of interest. In response, they also share information. The Turks have very effective special services and a very good intelligence network in Syria,” Klintsevich said.
“Although Turkey is a NATO country, it is very much offended by a coup attempt, in which, according to some data, some of the Western powers may be indirectly involved. President Erdoğan and the Turkish leadership now understand that they can do business with Russia,” he said.
In late August, Turkey and its allied Syrian rebels started military operation “Euphrates Shield” against the so-called Islamic State in the Jarablus area of Syria. At the same time, the Turkish side also stated that the operation is aimed at liberation of the territory from the Kurdish groups.
Talks between the Russian and Turkish leaders were held in Istanbul on October 10th. As stated then by the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, “the Syria issue was considered multilaterally…We discussed the issues related to the operation ‘Euphrates Shield.’ We made an assessment of how we can cooperate in this direction.”
In early August, in response to the results of the talks between the two leaders in St. Petersburg, the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, told reporters that Turkey and Russia have agreed to establish a mechanism on Syria that will include diplomats, military and intelligence representatives.