DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 25, 2011
debkafile's intelligence sources report that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has secretly ordered his government officials to dump Ankara's ties with Damascus with all speed and allowed Syrian opposition leaders to meet in Antalya on May 31-June 2 on ways to topple Bashar Assad. He is also thinking twice about a Turkish role in the June flotilla for breaking the Gaza blockade for fear Assad might seize on a clash at sea as a pretext for attacking Israel in an undesirable show of Syrian-Turkish solidarity.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 17, 2011
debkafile reports exclusively that President Barack Obama is ready to stamp down hard on Syrian President Bashar Assad in person for his inhuman crackdown on protest and the massacre of hundreds of dissenters. After five mass graves were found near Deraa, Obama may announce sanctions against the Syrian president even before his May 19 speech on US relations with Middle East Muslim nations, as well as recalling Ambassador Robert Ford from Damascus. Syria has threatened to hit back at Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 13, 2011
Assad's harsh crackdown appears to be working. Unless he is explicitly condemned by the US president, the main cities of Damascus and Aleppo will continue to hold back from the popular anti-regime uprising. Syrian security chiefs have begun celebrating victory and preparing a massive purge of the opposition.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 11, 2011
Egypt's military rulers are letting Hamas' political leader Khaled Meshaal move his base out of troubled Damascus to the Gaza Strip. The pledge came as an inducement for his signing the Palestinian unity pact with Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah on May 4, as disclosed for the first time by debkafile's intelligence sources. In Damascus, Bashar Assad's cousin Rami Makhlouf threatened Syria would go to war against Israel if the US and Europe did not back off from supporting the anti-regime uprising.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 6, 2011
With every passing day Bashar Assad loses ground. His army is increasingly insubordinate, refusing orders to shoot protesters and his ruling Baath party elite drawing away in disgust at his brutal methods.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 5, 2011
Thursday, May 5, Israel augmented the units deployed on its border with Syria and the intersection of the Israel-Syria-Jordan frontiers in the Har Dov area against the spate of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in flight from President Bashar Assad's bloody crackdown in Damascus and the Daraa region. The UN force on the Golan Heights – UNDOF – is likewise beefing up the contingents policing Israeli-Syrian ceasefire lines. Some, turned away at Turkish, Jordanian and Lebanese borders, are heading for Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 1, 2011
The Lebanese Shiite Hizballah has decided the Assad regime is sinking. debkafile's military sources report the organization is preparing to pull its heavy, long-range weapons out of storage in Syrian military facilities – no longer sure they are safe there – and transport them to Lebanon. Hizballah may even risk Israel making good on its threat to destroy the Iran-made Fatah-110 surface missiles, its Syrian equivalent M-600 and mobile SA-8 (Gecko) anti-air battery - if they cross the border.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 30, 2011
After shelling, tank assaults and siege left 100 protesters dead in the last 48 hours without quelling the unrest, Western intelligence sources believe the menace to the regime has careered too far for President Bashar Assad to hold it at bay - an assessment shared by Ankara. The protest is likely to keep on spreading and evolving into armed rebellion. Those sources estimate the uprising as already encompassing 6-7 million Syrians (out of a population of 26 million) and a third of its area.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 27, 2011
For the first time in the anti-Assad uprising, elements of Syria's popular protest movement are turning to armed revolt on lines similar to those marking the Libyan conflict, after discovering the regime's military crackdown is masterminded by Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers. Wednesday, April 27, armed civilians were seen for the first time, some carrying anti-tank weapons, in the Daraa district of the South and Banias and Jableh on the coast. Washington is preparing new sanctions against Damascus.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 26, 2011
US President Barack Obama continues to avoid direct action against Bashar Assad's increasingly savage crackdown on dissidents by consolidating his partnership with Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After talking on the phone early Tuesday April 26, they voiced "deep concern over the unacceptable use of violence" in Syria – but no condemnation of the Syrian ruler or his tank charge against civilians. Assad has thus won another couple of days at least to finish off the brutal purge of his opponents.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 25, 2011
Bashar Assad has launched all-out war on his people. Tanks firing artillery, infantry units, commandoes and snipers were deployed for the first time in Syrian cities at daybreak Monday, April 25 for the most brutal assault on any anti-government protesters in the four-month Arab uprising. Hundreds are estimated to have been massacred and thousands injured and left to die in the streets. Syria hopes to conceal the scale of the carnage in Daraa by shutting its borders with Jordan.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 23, 2011
Security forces and demonstrators continued to clash Saturday, April 23 in Damascus, Hama, Daraa and nearby Izraa after Friday's bloodbath left more than 100 dead and hundreds injured. Syrian snipers shot dead at least 15 mourners, injured dozens, at the funerals. Two Syrian lawmakers resigned their seats in protest at security police brutality against civilians. Damascus rejected President Barack Obama's charge of Iranian help to repress citizens. France warned regime leaders they could face international prosecution.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2011
President Bashar Assad, while abrogating Syria's 48-year old emergency laws Tuesday, April 19, immediately replaced them with new draconian measures banning any public protest against his regime and permitting midnight arrests. His bloody showdown with widening circles of protesters is in its final act, debkafile's Middle East sources report. It now threatens to explode into a sectarian war. Assad has asked neighboring Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq to seal their borders with Syria against arms smuggling and a refugee exodus.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 17, 2011
Syrian troops were fanned out along the country's borders Sunday, April 17 to choke off the smuggling of arms, funds and foreign agents to the opposition, whose uprising has spread to every corner of the country. More than 5,000 supply trucks are backed up on the Lebanese, Jordanian and Iraqi borders, starving the Syrian economy of essentials. Damascus suspects Saudi Arabia of commandeering the smuggling ring which armed Hizballah and Hamas for arming the Syrian opposition.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2011
Assad looks for scapegoat for his troubles after his fights against the burgeoning uprising against him reaches a stalemate. Tehran found a ready ear in pinning the blame on Saudi Arabia.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 14, 2011
In an unexpected turn in the month-long popular revolt against Bashar Assad's rule, Syrian TV alleged Thursday night, April 14 that the man behind the uprisings is an American whom they promised to parade soon. No more information was offered about the man's identity or how or when he was apprehended. debkafile: This is yet another sign of the depth of the authorities' desperation after failing by the most brutal methods to suppress the anti-Assad marches.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2011
Damascus was alive with rumors Thursday, April 14 that President Bashar Assad and his family were preparing to flee to Saudi Arabia. They were, sparked by the discovery that several high-ranking Syrian officials and army officers were evacuating their families to Persian Gulf emirates. US officials also disclosed Iran was secretly helping Assad crack down on his own people. Syrian authorities and opposition are bracing for their next test of strength Friday, April 15, amid signs of panic in Assad regime.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2011
The pro-democracy, anti-Assad days of rage spread dramatically across Syria Friday, April 8, seriously shaking Bashar Assad's 11-year old grip on power for the first time since the movement began three weeks ago. At least 50 people were killed – 30 demonstrators and 20 security officers - and hundreds injured - many of them in the southern town of Daraa, the epicenter of the opposition movement. In some places Syrian officers disguised as protesters opened fire from inside the crowds.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2011
Assad, though helped by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and even the US, is in a panic because his domestic support is crumbling and he is running out of loyal troops to defend his regime . The Syrian ruler knows better than most how fickle external support can be. When the chips are down, no foreign power will help him outgun or outrun his own people - and they refused to be pacified by the bones he tries throwing them.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 26, 2011
The Syrian ruler faces an unexpected Sunni revolt against his minority Allawite regime which is spreading fast and cannot be suppressed without using his Sunni-dominated military. Will Assad call on Tehran for help? Or Hizballah? Or the pro-Iranian radical Palestinian organizations? Or focus on saving Damascus? Those are the dilemmas facing him this week unless he stages a diversion by heating up the border with Israel.