Hamas to restore Syria ties after 10 years of dispute, sources say

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Palestinian Hamas militants attend an anti-Israel rally in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip May 27, 2021. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

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GAZA, June 21 (Reuters) - The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has decided to restore ties with Syria, 10 years after its leadership shunned Damascus over opposition to President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on a revolt against his rule, two sources within the group told Reuters.

One official who asked not to be named said the two sides have held several "high-profile meetings to achieve that goal."

A Syrian official did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Hamas leaders had publicly endorsed the revolt aimed at overthrowing Assad's dynastic rule, and left their Damascus headquarters. That angered their common ally, Iran.

Hamas's ties with Iran were later restored and officials of the Palestinian Islamist faction praised the Islamic Republic for help with building their Gaza arsenal of long-range rockets, which they used in fighting Israel.

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Reporting and Writing by Nidal Almughrabi, Editing by William Maclean

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