Cover of book published in April 2022

Secret Israel-Syria Deal Could Have Cut Iran Out, New Book Says

4/11/2022

A former US envoy has said Tel Aviv and Damascus were close to reaching a peace deal that would cut Iran out when the Syrian civil war broke out in March 2011.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Sunday that the Obama administration was engaged in a covert attempt to mediate between Israel and Syria, a move that was cut short due to the war in Syria.

In a book published earlier in April, former US special envoy to Syria Frederic C. Hof said that the initiative had a promising track, with Syrian President Bashar Assad and then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showing willingness to reach a peace agreement during their meetings.

Hof, who worked on Syria-related matters in the US Department of State from 2009 until 2011, said such an accord would have seen Israel leaving the Golan Heights in return for Syria severing ties with Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

The two neighbors have been locked in a war since the establishment of Israel in 1948. Israel captured Golan from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and effectively annexed the territory in 1981 in a move not recognized by most of the international community.

Attempts to achieve peace between Israel and Syria have failed mainly due to Damascus’s support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

News Summary
Forces of Nature
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