A decade after split, Hamas and Syria said in talks to renew ties

Sources tell Reuters that talks underway to mend relationship; Syria shuttered Hamas offices in 2012 after terror group backed violent opposition against President Assad

In this December 4, 2006 file photo, Syria's President Bashar Assad, right, meets with Hamas's Ismail Haniyeh in Damascus, Syria. (AP/Sana, File)
In this December 4, 2006 file photo, Syria's President Bashar Assad, right, meets with Hamas's Ismail Haniyeh in Damascus, Syria. (AP/Sana, File)

A decade after breaking with Syrian President Bashar Assad and decamping from Damascus, Hamas is in talks to resume ties with Syria, according to members of the terror group Tuesday.

Hamas and Syria have been on the outs since early 2012, when the group’s leadership came out against Assad’s brutal crackdown on the uprising that would turn into the Syrian civil war. Syria shuttered Hamas offices in Damascus months later, at the time officially closing the book on the relationship.

An anonymous official from the terror group said that Hamas and Syria were now engaged in “high-profile meetings,” toward reconciliation, Reuters reported.

Syrian officials did not answer Reuters’ request for comment.

Hamas, an armed group sworn to Israel’s destruction, moved its headquarters to Syria in the late 1990s.

Since leaving Damascus, Hamas’ leadership has been based mainly in Qatar, Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Hamas’ opposition to the Syrian government at the beginning of its civil war also angered their mutual ally Iran, which reportedly ceased funding the group, a claim denied in 2016 by the Islamic Republic.

By 2017, relations between Hamas and Iran were hailed as “fantastic” by Gaza’s ruler Yahya Sinwar.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, meets Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri, second right, and a Hamas delegation, in Tehran, Iran, July 22, 2019. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Israel and Hamas have fought several wars since the terror group seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas set up a joint operation center in Beirut during last year’s 11-day conflict with Israel, according to Ibrahim Al-Amine, editor of the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar.

Hamas, an Islamic fundamentalist terror organization was founded in 1987 at the beginning of the First Intifada as an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The group has repeatedly called for Israel’s destruction and has been responsible for dozens of deadly terror attacks.

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