11:12 GMT11 July 2020
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    The German government on Wednesday declined to comment on a media report that US intelligence agencies have shut off technical assistance to German troops in Iraq over Germany’s inquiry into NSA spying.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the German tabloid Bild cited US intelligence sources as saying that Washington had put intelligence cooperation on hold pending a German parliamentary inquiry into the NSA spying agency’s activities in Bavaria, where it is suspected to have snooped on EU companies and governments using a German listening post.

    Asked whether reports of the freeze in relations were true, government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters at a press briefing in Berlin that, "This question is related to the specifics of cooperation between intelligence services… only a responsible parliamentary body can answer it." "Consultations continue," he added.

    US intelligence circles expressed concern that their assets could fall into the hands of a German parliamentary commission currently probing NSA activities in the country, the source told Bild.

    Germany has been training Kurdish militias in northern Iraq since 2014, when the Islamic State militant group seized large swathes of land there and laid siege to the region’s capital Irbil. The United States supplies German forces with surveillance technology to boost the security of its troops.

    The row over the United States spying on European targets erupted in mid-April after German media was alerted to the NSA's continued spying in the country, on German and other EU governments, in 2015. It followed the 2013 disclosure by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed that the agency had been gathering metadata on European targets for years.


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    eavesdropping, espionage, NSA, Iraq, United States, Germany
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