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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Newspaper: SVR May Be Assisting Iraqis

The Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR, might be "covertly cooperating" with Iraq's Mukhabarat spy agency, The Washington Times reported Friday, citing U.S. intelligence sources.

U.S. intelligence is worried that the SVR might be leaking confidential information from the United Nations to Mukhabarat, Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz wrote.

Reached by telephone Friday, SVR spokesman Boris Labusov said, "There is nothing worth commenting on in Bill Gertz's article."

He noted, however, that the SVR opposes any use of force against Iraq. SVR director Sergei Lebedev made a similar statement to Interfax in December.

Asked whether the SVR is cooperating with Mukhabarat, Labusov said his agency has maintained "partnership channels" with the intelligence services of "many foreign countries, including NATO members," since the early 1990s to exchange information on fighting terrorism, drug trafficking and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.