According to a report from Axios, the UK’s special envoy for Syria, Jonathan Hargreaves, praised Israel’s bombing campaign in Syria during a visit to Jerusalem at the end of June.
In recent years, Israel has launched hundreds of airstrikes in Syria. The Israelis say that the bombing campaign is to prevent Iran from becoming further entrenched in the country, but the strikes often kill Syrian troops and sometimes kill civilians and damage civilian infrastructure.
According to Israeli Foreign Ministry officials, Hargreaves told Israeli officials in Jerusalem that the Israeli bombing campaign is “probably the only thing that works in Syria.” He also said that the UK and other Western countries are basing their Syria policy on the results of the Israeli airstrikes.
The US tacitly endorses the bombing campaign in Syria and reportedly coordinates some of the strikes. In June, The Wall Street Journal reported that Israel secretly coordinates the bombings with the US and that Washington has approved many Israeli airstrikes that were launched from areas near a US base in southern Syria.
On paper, the US is pursuing a policy of regime change in Syria by conditioning sanctions relief on a “political settlement” in Damascus that sees President Bashar al-Assad removed from power. During his meeting with Israeli officials, Hargreaves conceded that the West knows outside pressure won’t bring about regime change and that the strategy now is to focus on changing the government’s behavior.