Birstall, England – The ex-British intelligence officer who helped lead the hunt for Osama Bin Laden says Britain is poised to spy “on every leader in the Middle East” and is preparing to “sabotage” Syria’s government, according to the report he wrote for the Guardian newspaper.
Jonathan Steele, who was chief of MI6 from 2003 until 2015, told the newspaper that Britain would use “very, very sophisticated” tactics to destabilise the Syrian regime.
“I’ve seen the strategy of the Syrian opposition, where you’re trying to build a coalition against the Assad regime.
It’s the same as the Soviet Union.
They want to overthrow the regime and then try to replace it with a coalition of the opposition, and you have to use this very, very complex way of destabilising the regime,” Steele told the Guardian.
Steele was part of the secret team that tracked down Bin Laden and other top al-Qaeda figures, and led a series of missions in Pakistan and Afghanistan to expose the terror group.
The former MI6 officer said the secret operation would be similar to the US’s “red line” strategy that aimed to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.
“There’s nothing new in this strategy,” Steele said.
And it’s going to be very difficult for them to get rid of the Assad family and the Assad-regime, because that’s the only regime that can survive in Syria.” “
We’ve got to look at it as a counter-insurgency strategy.
And it’s going to be very difficult for them to get rid of the Assad family and the Assad-regime, because that’s the only regime that can survive in Syria.”
Steele said Britain was ready to take on Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad by targeting his “friends” in the country, as well as “all those who support him.”
“In a way, we’re going to sabotage him, because he has friends, the Syrian people, in Iraq and in Lebanon and elsewhere, and there’s no way he can govern the country if we destroy his friends, because they’re allies,” Steele explained.
The author said he was shocked at the way the United States was treating Assad.
“They’re bombing people who are helping to build his regime and to destroy his regime.
That’s a very cynical way of handling it,” he said.
Steele’s article comes a day after Britain’s spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), said it had recruited an ex-GCHQ officer to spy for the British government.
It also said the British were preparing to launch a new, “global” operation to disrupt al-Qaida’s operations.
The new spy, who will be named to protect the identity of his country of origin, is part of a team of former MI5 and GCHQ agents who have been working on behalf of the Government since last year.