The online news portal of TV5
DAMASCUS -- Syrian authorities accused the West on Sunday of planning to "hijack" the country's satellite television channels to broadcast misinformation about an alleged coup or defections.
"An information ministry source warned that Western intelligence are planning, in cooperation with some Arab parties, to hijack the frequencies of Syrian satellite channels," state news agency SANA reported.
It said the aim would be "to broadcast false news on an alleged coup d'etat or ... military defections or the fall of certain cities," in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
The ministry said it was part of "a plot against Syria."
False news, the ministry added, "might be broadcast by Syrian presenters and journalists who work for Arab and Western channels, or who might have been abducted" and forced to broadcast such reports.
SANA carried the report four days after a bomb attack claimed by the rebel Free Syrian Army hit the National Security headquarters in Damascus, killing four top security officials.
More than 19,000 people have died in violence since the outbreak of the anti-regime revolt in March 2011, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.