Merkel: Syria top priority for German intelligence

BERLIN (AA): Syria will continue to be one of the key issues for Germany’s intelligence service BND, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday.

Merkel said the Daesh terror group was diminished but not yet defeated at the opening ceremonies of BND headquarters in Berlin

“It is rather conducting an asymmetric warfare, and remains a threat,” she stressed.

Merkel criticized major powers for turning Syria into a scene of proxy wars.

“Unfortunately we are still far away from peace in Syria nearly eight years after the outbreak of the conflict,” she said.

Merkel stressed her government would continue its efforts for a political solution in Syria, and would rely on information obtained by BND about major actors and the situation on the ground.

Hybrid war

The German Chancellor named “cyber threats” as another key issue for BND in the coming years.

“Protecting our IT structures is becoming more and more important,” Merkel said, and added countering hybrid warfare and fake news would be decisive for Germany’s security in near future.

BND’s new headquarters was officially opened Friday after 11 years of construction.

The government has spent more than €1 billion for the complex which houses nearly 4,000 personnel.