Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Russia publishes a rare video clip believed to be of famous Israeli spy Eli Cohen in Damascus


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Russian official media published footage, which it claimed were not previously published, showing the famous Israeli spy Eli Cohen, who worked in Syria in the 1960s and was close to the Syrian military and political leaders.

In a short clip broadcast as part of a documentary about spying in Syria during the 1960s, a man believed to be Mossad agent Eli Cohen is shown walking down a street in the capital, Damascus, near the headquarters of the Syrian Air Force.

The official Russian Today network included the clip as part of a documentary she made last week, entitled Spyfall, about espionage in Syria at the time.

Within a few seconds, beginning in minutes 3 and 46 seconds of a black-and-white clip, a man was seen, which the network said was possibly Mossad agent Cohen walking down a street in the capital other than from an apartment he used to live there.

The film said the footage was filmed by Boris Lukin, a Soviet signaling specialist sent to Syria as a military attaché. It was not clear if Lukin intended to film Cohen or arrest him at that point.

Nadia Cohen, the spy’s widow, told Israel Today that she saw the clip and added, “This is another reminder of Elly,” but she criticized the Israeli government for not doing more to return his remains, whose whereabouts are still unknown.

During his years of activity, Eli Cohen managed to reach high levels of the hierarchy of the Syrian political leadership before the 1967 war, and stories circulating about him say that he was able to obtain information that contributed to playing a major role in Israel’s victory over all its neighbors in that war.

He was arrested by Syria and brought to trial for espionage on May 18, 1965, and he was executed after he succeeded in infiltrating the Syrian government under the pseudonym “Kamel Amin Thabet” for four years. Cohen’s body has not been returned from Syria despite decades of his family’s claims. Israel had requested Russia’s assistance in this regard, without those requests yielding actual progress.



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