Syria claims to uncover Israeli spy equipment monitoring 'sensitive site'
State television showed pictures of what it said was a camera, six large batteries and transmission gear allegedly monitoring area on coast; Israel refuses to comment, says won't get dragged into 'propaganda or battlefield' of Syrian civil war.
Syria said on Thursday it had uncovered an Israeli spy camera monitoring a "sensitive site" on its Mediterranean coast.
State television showed pictures of what it said was a camera, six large batteries and transmission gear along with fake rocks used to camouflage the equipment.
It quoted an official source as saying the equipment was found in the last few days at a coastal location not specified, and that the discovery highlighted the role Israel had played in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
It said the camera had relayed pictures in real time and had been used in the service of both Israel and "armed terrorist groups" - the label Syrian officials give to insurgents fighting to topple Assad.
An Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman said she was checking the report and made no further comment.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor would not comment on the report of the spy equipment, saying: "We will not be dragged into the Syrian civil war. Not on the verbal or propaganda battlefield, nor on the real one."
The equipment shown on Syrian television - and the artificial rocks used to disguise it - closely resembled items seized in Lebanon in recent years that Lebanese authorities said were also used by Israel to monitor movements inside Lebanon.
Syria is engulfed in a civil war which the United Nations says has killed 70,000 people and erupted nearly two years ago with initially peaceful protests against Assad.
The Syrian report comes two days after 21 Filipino UN peacekeepers were seized by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights. The Philippine government said talks were underway for their release, and Israel has said it will not intervene.