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The source said that the official, who has been in contact with the Americans for a long time, had set a condition that the Americans would not eliminate Soleimani in Syria.



(photo credit: REUTERS/NAIF RAHMA)

A senior Western intelligence source told the London-based paper The Independent Arabic that a senior Syrian official gave American intelligence information on Qasem Soleimani's movements in Syria, provided that the assassination would not be carried out on Syrian soil.

The source, who was aware of the incident, added that the official had leaked accurate and important information to US intelligence on Soleimani's movements in Syria, and even informed them of the date of travel and the information regarding his civilian aircraft and escort details.

The source said that the official, who has been in contact with the Americans for a long time, had set a condition that the Americans would not eliminate Soleimani in Syria.

It was further reported that due to the information given, the Americans were able to follow Soleimani's plane path after they were confident he was on board.

At the same time, the source also revealed that the Americans were able to hack the phone of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a deputy commander of the pro-Iranian Shiite militia al-Hashad al-Sha'abi. He was also eliminated in the January 3 attack; the US also tapped his conversations with Soleimani and others.

According to the reports, in these conversations, US intelligence learned that Soleimani and Muhandis were preparing for major operations against US, Israeli and Western targets in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere. They also knew that Muhandis would greet the Quds Force commander at Baghdad airport.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after the assassination that Soleimani and Muhandis were planning to hit American and Western targets in the Middle East.

Translated by Alon Einhorn.



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