DEBKAfile Special Report October 30, 2011
Sunday morning, Oct. 30, Jihad Islami denied knowledge of a truce Egypt called for 0600 Sunday morning. By 0700 hours it had launched eleven Grad missiles and two mortar rounds from the Gaza Strip at Ashdod, Gan Yavne, Lahavim, Ashkelon and Shear Hanegev. This was the second day of its massive assault. Saturday, more than 35 missiles, most heavy Grads, battered eight towns, killed an Israel and injured seven. Schools there are closed Sunday amid a high security alert.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 28, 2011
In the last 48 hours, the Syrian engineering corps has laid minefields along the Jordanian, Turkish borders to cut down on the influx of weapons and armed manpower supporting the anti-Assad opposition and the outflow of army deserters. debkafile's military sources add: By this action, Syria also aims to seal itself off against foreign military intervention. Since Muammar Qaddafi's death, Bashar Assad fears he is facing Arab military incursions backed by NATO.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 28, 2011
Tehran has come around to deciding that Bashar Assad will have to be forced out of the Syrian presidency and may be willing to join forces with the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to accomplish this – provided the foursome can get past a whole thicket of animosities.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 28, 2011
Iran and Hizballah declare NATO would never attack Syria, yet they are making military preparations for this very eventuality. Syria's only option to stem arms smuggling to the opposition is to seize large parts of Lebanon and Jordan, thus provoking a NATO assault.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 17, 2011
Has Syrian President Bashar Assad started murdering his own generals? Three have disappeared. One body was discovered in hospital riddled with bullets and may have been liquidated by rebels. After quelling mass demonstrations, the regime faces rising opposition guerilla attacks. Fearing a descent into civil war, the Allawites and Druzes have formed armed militias to protect their domains. Strapped for cash by sanctions, the Assad regime is borrowing from Iranian banks.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 10, 2011
Five days after defeating a Western-backed UN Security Council resolution condemning Bashar Assad's savagery against his opposition, Moscow turned the heat on him by inviting an opposition delegation for a visit Monday, Oct. 10 and offering to host talks between the Syrian government and the opposition umbrella Syrian National Council. Syrian Foreign Minister Wallid Moallem threatened unspecified "tough measures" against any countries recognizing the council, fearing a repeat of the Libyan rebel NTC exercise which toppled Muammar Qaddafi.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 8, 2011
Targeted assassinations now dominate Bashar Assad's savage confrontation with the popular opposition to his rule. The White House finally told the Syrian ruler to step down for the first time as 50,000 Syrian Kurds clashed with security forces at the funeral of the popular Kurdish leader Mashaal Tammo, 53, slain by masked men at his home in Qamishli, northern Syria Friday, Oct. 7. debkafile: The killers were members of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence Directorate acting on direct orders from Assad.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 7, 2011
Israel and Turkey embarked on large-scale mobilization maneuvers near Syrian borders Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 5-6 and the Jordanian armed forces were urged by the US and Turkey to follow suit. But Bashar Assad decided that having to build up his forces on two Syrian borders was enough. He sent a messenger to threaten Jordan's King Abdullah that if he staged an exercise, the Syrian air force would bomb Jordanian towns and if Israel intervened, he would attack them with missiles.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 7, 2011
The consensus of US and Western intelligence chiefs at their closed door meeting in Langley was that NATO should count itself out of further military interventions in Arab uprisings in the coming year – especially in Syria - after its mistakes in Libya. Reliance on Turkey was seen as a letdown. The Yemeni crisis was judged more dangerous to broader regions of the Middle East and East Africa than the Syrian conflict.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 4, 2011
War tensions between Turkey, NATO and Syria shot up again Tuesday, Oct. 4, with the announcement from Ankara that Turkey embarks Wednesday on a 10-day "mobilization" exercise in the southern province of Hatay along the Syrian borderwhere 7,000 Syrian refugees are sheltering. A visit by the Turkish prime minister is also expected. Earlier, debkafile reported exclusively that Bashar Assad had been threatening for three months to destroy Tel Aviv within six hours of an attack on Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 30, 2011
To punish the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for submitting his application for UN membership in defiance of President Barack Obama's strong objections, Washington leaned on Jordan's King Abdullah II to allow a visit by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to discuss his political bureau's transfer from Damascus to Amman. Saudi Arabia helped persuade him. Obama was telling Abbas thereby that if Hamas should moderate its extremism, his role as sole Palestinian spokesman would face serious competition.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 22, 2011
Al Jazeera's Qatari owner Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani takes charge of editorial policy based on the vagaries of the Arab Revolt. He sacked two top editors and placed a safe family member at the top of the station's management.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 19, 2011
"We sided with the Syrian people because regimes will go but the people always stay," said Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu Sunday, Sept. 18 in a bid to vindicate the "zero conflict" doctrine against its many critics. In fact, debkafile reports, most of "the Syrian people" had gone to their graves when Davutoglu made his remark: Bashar Assad and his army had virtually smashed their six-month protest, aided substantially by Turkey reneging on its pledge of military backing for "the people."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 16, 2011
The Arab revolts have resolved themselves ten months on into a US effort to damp down the Turkey-Israel, Egypt-Israel fires before they blow up - at best into limited military confrontations, whereas Russia, disenchanted with America's removal of Muammar Qaddafi, has stepped in to rescue Syria's Assad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 16, 2011
The Muslim Brotherhood's role in post-revolt Arab capitals – sought by Barack Obama – faces counter-pressure from Russia, China and Iran – particularly in Damascus. Not just Iran, but Russia and China too have stepped up their arms consignments to the regime, loath to see fundamentalist Muslim power reigning in any Middle East capital. In Damascus, Moscow has set up a military-diplomatic headquarters.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 9, 2011
Former Al Qaeda adherent Abdel-Hakim Belhaj is groomed by the US and other NATO allies as future ruler of Libya. They have cast him as the role model of the new Islamist elite "converted to democracy" for future government in Egypt, Tunisia and other countries targeted by the Arabian Spring.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 8, 2011
The Syrian ruler has ordered his military chiefs to get set to launch their biggest operation to destroy the protest movement bedeviling his regime for nearly six months, debkafile's military sources report exclusively. All units are deployed on full preparedness around the protest centers for coordinated strikes in the coming days and all leaves cancelled.The five divisions posted on the Israeli border have been pulled back. Aleppo has staged its first major anti-Assad rally.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 30, 2011
Monday night and Tuesday, Aug-29-30, three international heavyweights - Russia, the European Union and key Muslim nations – gave Syrian President Bashar Assad tough ultimatums for ending his barbaric crackdown on protest. Nevertheless, on Monday, his troops shot dead 17 people in Syrian cities - even as he received Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov who arrived in Damascus with a last warning from President Dmitry Medvedev. Pushed into a tight corner, Assad may opt for war on his neighbors.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 26, 2011
The US and NATO claim that Muammar Qaddafi's chemical weapons stockpile is secure but this is not borne out by the facts. He almost certainly replenished his old stocks with purchases on the black market. The quantities stocked by Bashar Assad are far greater and he would have less inhibitions about using them to save his skin.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 19, 2011
Bashar Assad took the extra 10-15 days awarded him by US and Turkey as a grace period to finish his military slam against protest and introduce reforms. This was not intended and so Barack Obama finally told him he must go.