Israel’s newly-elected president, Reuven Rivlin, has since Tuesday received numerous congratulatory letters and phone calls. But none were so unexpected as a letter from Syrian rebel leader Mohammed Adnan.
The letter, written in broken English, read:
"As a Syrian rebel looking forward to having new bounds of honesty and sincerity between our two people, the Syrian and the Israeli, I will be so glad to be the first one of the well-wishers to you, Mr. Reuven, president of the State of Israel.
“With our great eagerness for that moment, when we both celebrate our victory over the outlaw trinity of Assad family, Hezbollah and Iran, do accept our congratulations for your being chosen president of friendly state, Israel.”
It is not the first time that the more moderate among the Syrian rebel forces have reached out to Israel.
In February, a rebel leader speaking from Istanbul publicly thanked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for Israel’s compassion toward Syrian’s wounded in his country’s ongoing civil war.
Late last year, an unnamed Syrian rebel spoke to Israeli media, urging the Jewish state to become more involved in the conflict and effort to topple the regime of dictator Bashar Assad.
Closer to the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, rebel leaders reportedly reached out to an Israeli Arab member of the Knesset and pleaded with Jerusalem to use its influence with Western powers to aid their cause.
While Israel has avoided becoming politically involved in the Syrian conflict, it has repeatedly targeted and destroyed weapons belonging to the Syrian regime and its allies that could be used to threaten the Jewish state.
Those military interventions have been well received by the rebels and average Syrians adversely affected by the conflict.