Report says Israel talks with Syria rebels

Jan. 1, 2013 at 7:29 AM
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AMMAN, Jordan, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Israel is in secret talks with Syrian rebels to help find the remains of an executed Israeli spy and prepare for an operation, al-Quds al-Arabi reports.

The report said Israeli officials held talks in Jordan with Syrian opposition officials in advance of a possible Israeli-U.S. operation in Syria to protect the Golan Heights.

Discussions also focused on finding Eli Cohen's remains the paper said. The Jordanians were aware of the meeting with dissident Syrian commanders, the paper reported Monday. No further details were released.

Cohen considered one of Israel's greatest spies, infiltrated the highest levels of Syrian government in the 1960s, and regularly transferred information to his handlers in Israel. Some of the information is said to have contributed to Israel's victory in the 1967 Six Days War.

In 1965, Cohen was caught transmitting information to Israel and was tried and found guilty of espionage. He was publicly executed in Damascus the following May.

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