The United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s spy agency has reportedly been training Kurdish militants affiliated with the anti-Damascus People’s Protection Units (YPG) in areas under their occupation in northern and eastern Syria over the past few years.
Signals Intelligence Agency (SIA) officers held secret talks with the Kurdish militants back in 2017, and were dispatched to YPG-held areas in Syria the following year.
SIA agents purportedly train YPG militants to carry out espionage and counter-espionage operations, acts of sabotage as well as assassinations. The Kurdish militants are also being taught how to conduct signal intelligence, information security and cryptography on communication networks.
Such training missions are said to be underway in the Kurdish-populated northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli as well as major cities of Hasakah and Dayr al-Zawr.
Anadolu further noted that Emirati intelligence officers have even established a secret direct hotline with YPG militants.
The UAE has long been accused of sponsoring the militant groups, which have been operating across Syria since early 2011 to topple the Damascus government.
The YPG — the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — has America’s support in its anti-Damascus push. The Kurdish militants seized swathes of land in the northern and eastern parts of Syria from the Takfiri Daesh terror group in 2017, and are now refusing to hand their control back to the central government.