Revealed: Syrian Prime Minister Was a Double Agent Who Gave Crucial Intel to Zionist Leaders

In 1945, David Ben-Gurion braced for the possibility of an attack by the Arab states should Israel declare independence. But game-changing information from a Syrian leader alerted him to another major threat

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Jamil Mardam. The Syrian premier-turned-spy played a major part in what was called the “Greater Syria” plan, which never came to fruition.
Jamil Mardam. The Syrian premier-turned-spy played a major part in what was called the “Greater Syria” plan, which never came to fruition.Credit: John Phillips / LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images
Meir Zamir
Meir Zamir

In the summer of 1945, no one was more hated by French officials in Syria and Lebanon than Jamil Mardam. Intelligence information obtained by France revealed that Mardam, the prime minister of Syria under the French mandate there, had been recruited by Brig. Iltyd Nicholl Clayton, head of MI6 in the Middle East, and by Nuri Sa'id, the Iraqi prime minister. Mardam had also reportedly agreed to a plan whereby Syria, after the expulsion of France from its mandated territories, would unite with Iraq and with Transjordan under the Hashemite family, and Britain – which controlled those two countries – would enjoy hegemony in Damascus as well. For Mardam’s part in what was called the “Greater Syria” plan, he received handsome sums and was promised that he would rule in Syria, under the Hashemite monarch.

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