DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 22, 2012
Syrian rebels have received their first “third generation” anti-tank weapons, 9K115-2 Metis-M and Kornet E, debkafile reports. They are supplied by Saudi and Qatari intelligence agencies following a secret message from President Barack Obama upping the military stake in the effort to oust Assad. It is hoped that the sight of blazing tanks will undermine morale in the Syrian army and regime. Ankara was also advised to start providing Syrian rebels with IEDs for roadside bombing of government vehicles.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 18, 2012
US reservists are put on standby for transfer to the Middle East at 36 hours notice as the Obama administration gets set for a potential midsummer war if Iran stalls on a nuclear accord or fails to deliver on its commitments – or Israel goes to war on the Islamic Republic.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 14, 2012
Bashar Assad has stepped in directly to halt the covert war his Western and Arab foes are waging against his regime through Lebanon. debkafile’s military sources disclose he is now sending Lebanese army commanders direct orders for cutting arms, money, fighters and medical supplies to the rebels, especially in Homs. Last week, Lebanese Chief of Staff Gen. Jean Kahwagi was given a crude ultimatum: Take care of the Syrian rebels’ backers in Tripoli, or else the Syrian army will enter Lebanon and do the job.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 11, 2012
Foreign intervention in Syria is expanding, hemming the Assad regime in with escalating bombing attacks, rebels armed with heavy weapons or a 17-nation special forces “exercise” across the border in Jordan. How will his backers in Tehran and Moscow react?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 22, 2012
Beijing has distanced itself from the Assad regime, according to a secret exchange of messages with the Obama administration, revealed here exclusively by debkafile. China will no longer be a problem for America in dealing with Assad. That leaves only Russia, said the last message. Washington counts this change as a return on its nuclear appeasement of Tehran. The Chinese decided to accommodate US policy on Syria now that the loosening of the embargo on Iranian oil is in sight. Assad has started selling off gold reserves in Dubai.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 15, 2012
Announcing he is not responsible for the UN observers, President Bashar Assad has set in motion steps for prolonging his war on the Syrian people. For essential funding, debkafile discloses, he has offered Moscow and Beijing $30 billion worth of government bonds to replenish his depleted war chest. And at the UN Security Council, while Russia’s Vitaly Churkin voted for a UN observer team to secure the erratic Syrian ceasefire, Moscow quietly sent warships to Syrian shores to secure the Assad regime.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 13, 2012
In their different ways, the rulers of Iran, North Korea and Syria this week tried to throw US President Barack Obama off balance by exploiting the foreign policy balls he is juggling to win the November election – a combination of tough talk and maneuvers for staying clear of military confrontation. They will continue to try and throw the US off-balance by extreme provocations, especially at the nuclear talks starting in Istanbul Saturday, April 14, between Iran and six world powers.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2012
Certain he is safe from Western-Arab intervention, Bashar Assad Sunday, April 8 unleashed an across-the board offensive against the last surviving rebel locations in 30 towns and villages. debkafile reports that for the first time, heavy long-range artillery as well as air force helicopters pounded the last rebel positions in the northern mountains of Idlib, attesting to Assad’s determination to finish his opponents once and for all with no holds barred and backing to the hilt from Tehran and Moscow.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 2, 2012
At the Friends of Syria 2 in Istanbul, opposition representative Prof. George Sabra failed to convince US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that a US-protected token safe haven village near Idlib would start splintering the hard face of army loyalty to Bashar Assad. The meeting ended as it began with a US commitment of funding for humanitarian aid and “communications gear for opposition forces” (to fight Assad’s tanks?), leaving Assad under no compulsion to implement any part of the Annan peace plan.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 31, 2012
Iran, Syria and Hizballah are celebrating Assad’s victory over the 12-month uprising against him and counting the advantages it confers on Tehran against the US and Saudi Arabia. The Iran-Syria-Hizballlah axis is now successfully shored up against the Obama administration’s strategy of isolation and sanctions for squeezing Iran into making concessions at the nuclear negotiations in two weeks. Both are fading. It also serves as a warning to those Israelis who advocate passing the buck for preempting a nuclear Iran to Washington.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 19, 2012
The Middle East has unknowingly been living for ten days under threat of a regional war, which debkafile’s military sources disclose was delivered by Syrian president Bashar Assad to UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan Saturday, March 10. Assad warned him that Syrian missiles would reach any countries preparing for military intervention in Syria before they moved. debkafile: Four European naval and air forces stand ready to seal off security zones in Syria against Assad’s troops and planes.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 16, 2012
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 Arab League.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 16, 2012
Iran and Russia poured out every kind of assistance to shore Assad up – military, intelligence, financial, diplomatic and strategic as well as a supply of arms for crushing the opposition. Iran’s reward is the substantial strengthening of its alliance with Syria, Hizballah and Palestinian extremists. Hamas too is staying in the Iranian fold.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 7, 2012
US military officials said Wednesday, March 7, that President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke away from their dispute over an attack on Iran on March 5 for a serious discussion of the Syrian crisis and Bashar Assad's, hundreds of surface-to-surface missiles armed with chemical and biological warheads. Because this peril has risen to the top of America’s chart of the threats looming over Israel and Turkey, Obama advised Netanyahu to hurry up and mend ties with Ankara.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 2, 2012
Opposite the fragmented Free Syrian Army rebels, Assad’s army is suffering from the spreading malaise of “defections in place,” a mutiny of complete units with their officers who defy orders but refrain from crossing to the opposition. Why did the Syrian ruler prevent two Iranian warships from entering Tartus port?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 29, 2012
US President Barack Obama Tuesday, Feb. 28, vetoed plans submitted to him last week for Western-Arab military intervention in the Syrian crisis, debkafile reports. He is weighing an alternative plan for setting up “humanitarian corridors” in the most embattled areas. That too would be contingent on Russian endorsement, because Obama believes Moscow holds the key to Assad’s consent - or at least abstention from sending his army to attack the aid routes. No Russian response as yet to feelers from Washington.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2012
The Sarkozy plan for Syria is based on reserving a quarter of Syrian territory as a safe haven protecting a quarter of its population under a coalition air shield. No foreign boots will touch the ground. After rounding up the UK, Italy, Turkey and Qatar, the French president is waiting for Obama’s nod because with the Americans the operation is not feasible.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 19, 2012
Iran continues to behave as though it is calling the shots. The first formal announcement of the resumption of Iran-world powers nuclear talks (confirming debkafile’s exclusive) came from its Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Selahi who Sunday, Feb. 19, named the venue as Istanbul, Turkey. Saturday, two Iranian warships got away with delivering arms for Bashar Assad’s crackdown without US or Israeli interference. They docked at Tartus port Saturday alongside a Russian naval flotilla, symbolizing their joint effort to preserve Assad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 17, 2012
Tehran was always willing to talk, less to listen. This time, Iran is preparing to enter into negotiations from a position of strength after demonstrating that US and European sanctions have not had the effect of blocking the bulk of its oil exports.