Lebanon's Al-Akhbar newspaper has revealed a secret meeting held in Barcelona, Spain at the end of May, between U.S. and Syrian representatives.
Israeli figures also reportedly attended the meeting.
The newspaper said that the Syrian regime sent an official religious figure to head its delegation, naming the grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Hassoun. It said a high level American delegation included Assistant Director of the CIA for operations, Jose Rodriguez, along Assistant U.S Defense Secretary for Security Affairs, Derrick Scholl and the American Ambassador in Madrid, Allan Solomon, who has Israeli citizenship.
The newspaper reported that the U.S. foreign ministry representatives conveyed to Hassoun Washington's conviction that extremist radical groups related to Al-Qaeda have penetrated the Syrian opposition structures and became a major threat, stressing that efforts were needed to eradicate them.
Secret sources said that the Mufti conveyed a willingness to reactivate security cooperation with the U.S, on behalf of the Syrian regime.
He also gave the CIA representatives a list containing names of known Nusra Front members and some other radical groups captured recently by the regime. Some of those names are on CIA wanted lists, while others are known to have participated in operations against American interests in the Middle East.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer