Foreign Policy Blogs

A Family Affair

Recently the news broke that three Israeli citizens were arrested and charged with spying for Syria. Apparently the arrests took place in early july but were only announced last thursday due to a court gag order. A father and son Druze tandem teamed with another Arab Israeli citizen to spy on several targets in northern Israel. All three hail from the Israeli occupied Golan Heights.

Syria and Israel; The Spy Saga

Syria and Israel; The Spy Saga

Apparently one of the main targets of the spy team was a former Syrian fighter pilot who defected to Israel, in a dramatic unannounced landing in 1989. It comes as no surprise to me that Syria would be going after such an old target.

This announcement comes as many are focusing on regional espionage intrigue. Ongoing investigations in Lebanon have revealed a remarkable level of penetration by Israeli agents into the Lebanese political and military system. Evidenced by this week’s announcement of the arrest of a former high ranking Lebanese General.

We will see what comes of this. According to published reports, this particular group of spies did not seem to be particularly well trained, or capable of  much. The fact that we’re hearing about this at all implies that it isn’t very serious. Any and all Syrian fighter pilots living in Israel should be on the look out though.



Walter Raubeson

Walter spent the last two years living and working in Damascus, reporting on the Syrian social, political, and cultural scene. Recently returned to the US, Walter continues to monitor Middle Eastern events with verve, and also gusto.

Having graduated from New York University's Masters Program in Political Science- International Relations-in September 2008, Walter's MA thesis analyzed the Lebanese political system; focusing on the impact of foreign intervention within Lebanon, particularly the roles of Iran, Israel, Syria, and the US.