Italian Company Sold Technology to Syria - and Israel (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 07/06/12)
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One of the more than two million emails from Syrian political
figures, ministries and companies which WikiLeaks began exposing on
Thursday reveals that Finmeccanica, an Italian defense giant with
extensive interests in the UK, supplied communications equipment and
expertise about helicopters to the Syrian regime, even after it had
launched a violent crackdown on peaceful protests that began in March
According to a report in the British Telegraph, the leaked emails
appeared to show that Selex Elsag, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, was
selling radio communications equipment worth 40 million euros to the
Syrian police in May 2011, the same month that the European Union
imposed an embargo on the regime, prohibiting the export of weapons
and equipment that could be used for internal repression.
The Tetra radio equipment, including 500 hand-held VS3000 radios, was
apparently destined for police deployed to a suburb of Damascus, the
The e-mails also appeared to show that as recently as February this
year engineers from Selex Elsag travelled to Damascus to give
training on the use of the communications technology, including how
it could be installed in helicopters.
The Syrian regime later asked to be supplied encryption technology
for the radio system, but Finmeccanica said it would have to refer
the matter to the Italian government.
Meanwhile, a report in Israelís Channel 2 News on Thursday night
revealed that Selex Elsag also has close business relations with
Channel 2 News discovered that Selex Elsag recently won an Israel
Railways tender and that the company has already begun to provide
Israel Railways with infrastructure for its new smart ticketing
system, which will be introduced to passengers in the near future.
Officials at Israel Railways confirmed the report, but noted that the
deal with Selex Elsag was signed prior to the publication of its ties
with the Assad regime. The officials also added that other companies
are also providing Israel Railways with similar equipment.
Earlier on Thursday, WikiLeaks said that the so-called ´Syria Files´
that it plans to expose show how the West and western countries "say
one thing and do another" when it comes to dealing with the Assad
According to WikiLeaks, the leaked emails date from August 2006 to
March 2012 and derive from more than 650,000 email addresses.
Among them are email addresses associated with the country´s
ministries of foreign affairs, finance and culture, and for foreign
WikiLeaks said that, as there is a "large dataset" to go through, it
could take months for all the stories contained in the emails to come
out. The emails are in various languages, including Arabic and
Russian. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 07/06/12)
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