DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 2, 2013, 9:37 AM (GMT+02:00)
US Secretary of State John Kerry has a novel plan for peace talks on two simultaneous tracks – Israel versus the Palestinians and, for the first time in its history, Israel facing the Arab League, debkafile reports exclusively. After obtaining Arab approval for “minor border amendments,” Kerry says more work remains to be done before talks.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 28, 2013, 11:13 AM (GMT+02:00)
Syrian rebels in Aleppo are obtaining their first heavy weapons – 220-mm MLRS rocket launchers – through a large-scale supply operation run by Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, debkafile reports exclusively. In Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo, his agents snapped up Russian-made MLRS (Smerch) and Hurricane 9K57 launchers capable of firing scores of 220-mm rockets to a distance of 70 kilometers. Bandar hopes these weapons will expedite the rebels' capture of the big Syrian air base of Nairab near Aleppo.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 27, 2013, 1:09 PM (GMT+02:00)
After patching up the feud between Israel and Turkey, US President Barack Obama faces a much tougher task: brokering ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. To address the looming Syrian chemical arms crisis, President Obama needs a united anti-Assad Arab-Islamic front. He faces a choice between two blocs for the lead role: Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Abu Dhabi, or Turkey and Qatar. Most Arab rulers want no truck with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, which is why he vents his frustration on Israel.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 27, 2012, 11:03 AM (GMT+02:00)
Despite Israeli warnings, the Palestinian Authority is for the first time making the annual Israeli-Arab Earth Day Friday, March 30 a joint Palestinian-Israel Arab event, organizing mass anti-Israel disturbances in Jerusalem, Jaffa and other places, while also instigating West Bankers to smash through Israeli border checkpoints. Syria too will bus thousands of Palestinians to storm Israel’s northern border on the Golan. Both also aim to shake up the Arab summit in Baghdad. The PA is broke after Arab aid was cut off.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 25, 2012, 11:06 PM (GMT+02:00)
The 23rd Arab summit, the first to be held in Baghdad in more than two decades, opens Tuesday March 27 after Iraq’s Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki bowed to Saudi and Gulf Emirates’ demand not to invite Iran and receive only a low-ranking Syrian official. Although the city is in lockdown, Western security sources doubt it is 100 percent safe from terrorists, whether al Qaeda or Bashar Assad’s henchmen in revenge for the arms and aid certain Arab rulers tender Syrian rebels.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 16, 2012, 1:49 AM (GMT+02:00)
Russia like Iran was the prime helper and is the prime beneficiary of Bashar Assad’s success in crushing the armed revolt against him and gives Vladimir kudos at the start of his presidency. His foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was enabled to call the shots for the 22-member ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 17, 2012, 1:35 AM (GMT+02:00)
Middle East capitals are puzzled by the Obama administration’s willingness to cast the Arab bloc and its Syrian concerns aside and collaborate with Turkey on the Assad issue. Why is non-Arab Turkey the blue-eyed boy in Washington and not the Gulf Arabs? The answer in some Middle East capitals is that ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 30, 2012, 9:38 PM (GMT+02:00)
President Bashar Assad Sunday, Jan. 30, pulled in the Syrian Republican Guard and the 4th armored division commanded by his brother Maher Assad from the north to Damascus, debkafile reports exclusively. He deployed them in battle positions in the capital for the first time following an intelligence tipoff that one of the armored division commanders had been won over by Western powers and persuaded to stage a coup d'etat in time for Tuesday's UN Security Council meeting on Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 1, 2011, 10:35 PM (GMT+02:00)
Small Western special forces units have begun filtering into Syria to prepare the ground for a major military operation by the US, several more NATO members and Gulf emirates, to captured northern Syria and use it as a beachhead to eventually dominate the rest of the country.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 29, 2011, 2:39 PM (GMT+02:00)
debkafile reports that the Katyusha rocket volley from S. Lebanon which hit Galilee in northern Israel in the small hours of Tuesday, Nov. 29, was initiated by Hizballah commanders in South Lebanon, although claimed by the al Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades. Hizballah activated a Palestinian cell it controls in the Ain Hilwa refugee camp on behalf of its Damascus ally, after a group of NATO and Arab officers quietly established a command in Turkey for intervention in the Syrian crisis.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 27, 2011, 6:44 PM (GMT+02:00)
Twenty-four hours before the Arab League Sunday, Nov. 27, clamped down sanctions on the Assad regime, the first ever against a member state, the armies of Syria's seven neighbors were already scrambling into position on standby for retaliation. debkafile: Israeli armored brigades moved up to the Lebanese and Syrian borders; Ankara placed three armored brigades, its air force and navy on the ready, likewise Hizballah and the Lebanese and Jordanian armed forces. Russia is sending Bashar Assad siege-breaking missiles.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 26, 2011, 11:33 AM (GMT+02:00)
The Syrian crisis assumed a big power dimension this week with the build-up of rival US and Russian air carrier armadas in Syrian waters – ranged against and in support of Bashar Assad, debkafile's military sources report. The USS George H.W. Bush arrived Wednesday, Nov. 23, with 70 fighter-bombers and 8 guided missile cruisers and destroyers. Russia's only air carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov is due in mid-week to boost the three Russian warships already anchored off the Syrian port of Tartus.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 13, 2011, 8:42 AM (GMT+02:00)
The potential for a regional flare-up shot up Friday and Saturday, Nov-11-12, with the blasts at two Iranian arms bases which killed at least 32 Revolutionary Guards men including Iran's top missile expert, and the Arab League Foreign Ministers' decision to suspend Syria's membership over Bashar Assad's brutal military crackdown on civilians. Even he understands what the AL means by threatening "more steps to protect Syrian civilians." Middle East capitals are on edge for the next acts in the Iranian-Syrian crises.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 20, 2011, 5:16 PM (GMT+02:00)
debkafile's sources report the claim that Libya's integrated air defense systems were knocked out by Saturday's US-UK-French bombardment was overstated. Muammar Qaddafi had removed his sophisticated hardware - Russian-made SA-5 missiles which can hit medium or high-flying aircraft and his shoulder-launched K38 Igla9 (SA-18) missiles mounted on Italian Ivaco trucks - to hideouts in the south.