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Russia Recovered Remains Of Israeli Spy From Syria.. Or Did It?

Ahmed Al-Khalid

Russia is about to hand over the remains of the notorious Israeli spy Eli Cohen, who was executed in Syria, Israeli media claimed earlier this week. The reports based on information provided by anonymous sources in the Syrian opposition hold that a Russian delegation arrived to Damascus, took the body and left the country with it. Despite zero evidence these claims caused a huge commotion in Syria and Israel, forcing both countries to pay closer attention to Russia’s actions. This may be the very outcome desired by those who have been spreading these rumors.

Who Is Eli Cohen

A Mossad agent, Eli Cohen successfully infiltrated the highest echelons of the Syrian government, taking the position of senior adviser to the Minister of Defense in the 1950-s. He had been gathering sensitive information on the Syrian army until the discovery of his true identity which was followed by the execution in 1965. The intelligence provided by Cohen laid the foundation of the Israeli success in the war of 1967 when the Golan Heights were occupied. The Israeli government and Cohen’s family have multiple times requested the Syrian authorities to return Cohen’s remains, but until recently it was believed that the whereabouts of his body was lost.

Official Reaction: Silence and Refusal

The claims made by anonymous sources have not received any official confirmation so far. Moreover, Russian authorities issued a statement, strongly denying these rumors and urging the media to show a more “accurate, professional and honest approach to coverage of such sensitive issues.”

This snap reaction is quite understandable: supposing the opposition sources were right, Russia had had to discover Cohen’s place of burial, identify the body and convince the Syrians of giving permission to transport the remains out of the country.

The single evidence, albeit indirect, in favor of the possibility of such scenario is the recovery of the remains of Israeli soldier Zachary Baumel who went missing in 1982 in Lebanon. Russian military assisted by Syrian counterparts retrieved the body and returned them to Israel. However, any comparison between the two cases would obviously be incorrect due to the sensitivity of the Cohen’s issue.

Weaponized Rumors

Neither the absence of evidence, not the dubious character of the sources prevented the “Russia returned Cohen’s remains to Israel” story from spreading in the media like wildfire. The incredibly appropriate circumstances – lucky timing and sensational nature of the news – hint at a planned in advance dissemination operation. Who could stand behind it? Those who benefit from tensions between Syria and Russia, as well as between Russia and Israel.

Not only “anonymous sources in the Syrian opposition” but also their foreign backers, namely the US, fit perfectly in this scheme. Washington has multiple times expressed discontent over the rising Russian influence in the US allies in the Middle East, including Lebanon, Jordan, and of course Israel. Exploiting such a sensitive issue as the fate of the remains of Eli Cohen, who is considered a national hero in Israel and universally hated in Syria, is an ideal instrument to pursue the US interests in the region.


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Bennett Zamora
Bennett Zamora
Feb 20, 2020 3:17 PM

A Mossad agent, Eli Cohen successfully infiltrated the highest echelons of the Syrian government, taking the position of senior adviser to the Minister of Defense in the 1950-s. He had been gathering sensitive information on the Syrian army until the discovery of his true identity which was followed by the execution in 1965. The intelligence provided by Cohen laid the foundation of the Israeli success in the war of 1967 when the Golan Heights were occupied. The Israeli government and Cohen’s family have multiple times requested the Syrian authorities to return Cohen’s remains, but until recently it was believed that the whereabouts of his body was lost: happy wheels.

Jen
Jen
Apr 24, 2019 9:30 PM

Significantly the Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office has denied the story that Russia found the remains of Eli Cohen in Syria.So whoever dreamt up the story and promoted it was not thinking of improving Russian-Israeli relations.

Perhaps the fact that the story originated from anonymous sources in the Syrian “opposition”, and that the Israeli government itself denies the story, might give a clue as to who cooked it up: a third party eager to stoke conflict between Russia and Syria, between Russia and Israel, and between Israel and Syria.

That third party sounds like the United States.

Gwyn
Gwyn
Apr 24, 2019 6:38 PM

Russia wants Israeli journos to show a more ”accurate, professional and honest approach to coverage of such sensitive issues”?

Ha! They must be having a Lavrov!

bjd
bjd
Apr 24, 2019 1:47 PM

I just spent two minutes of my time on a non-story about some dead Israeli imperialist.

alaffcreator
alaffcreator
Apr 24, 2019 10:29 AM

The Russian Foreign Ministry has placed this story in its section of fake news, officially indicating that this story is disinformation.

http://www.mid.ru/en/nedostovernie-publikacii/-/asset_publisher/nTzOQTrrCFd0/content/id/3620408

Maggie
Maggie
Apr 24, 2019 11:29 AM
Reply to  alaffcreator

And so what if it were true? Who cares?
The Israeli`s have spies EVERYWHERE!!!
Has anyone bothered to watch Aljazeera’s “Lobby“
Spies are spies which ever country they come from, and know their fate, if they are caught.

hauptmanngurski
hauptmanngurski
Apr 25, 2019 4:28 AM
Reply to  Maggie

I wonder if the Christchurch villain was one of them, sus out radicals on the right and then he snapped. 8 years travelling the world – no job. What inheritance? It was extra expensive to travel the world from Dunedin. And now his actions have cause the Sri Lankan attacks?

Pretty sick to insist on repatriating 54 years old remains. Yukh.

flaxgirl
flaxgirl
Apr 27, 2019 2:09 AM

Christchurch was a staged event and all the stuff about Israel and Pakistan is propaganda. If you can find a single point supporting “real” over “staged” please let me know what it is. I think this video pretty much says it all.https://153news.net/watch_video.php?v=5NH44NNWADB8

Mucho
Mucho
Apr 24, 2019 3:14 PM
Reply to  alaffcreator

Tells you a lot about the true nature of Off Guardian, imo. Controlled opposition.

hauptmanngurski
hauptmanngurski
Apr 25, 2019 4:30 AM
Reply to  Mucho

All cables and sats are under what control? Must be pleased regularly. Take a bet on when they’ll zap ErTé?