Donald Trump administration senior official Cash Patel visited Damascus.
The first contact in many years between a White House official and Bashar al-Assad’s government took place earlier this year, media reported.
Patel’s visit to Syria was linked to negotiations on the transfer of two American citizens to the United States, who are believed to be in a Syrian prison.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, named the official as Kash Patel, a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump and the top White House counterterrorism official, saying he had flown to Damascus.
“It is emblematic of how President Trump has made it a major priority to bring Americans home who have been detained overseas,” said the official, who was confirming a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The White House and the State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
It is not known who exactly Patel met with during his visit.