US accepts Shahab-3s in Iran’s missile arsenal, but not long-range ICBMs. Deep resentment in Jerusalem
DEBKAfile Special Report May 18, 2014
Two high-ranking US officials, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, were challenged by Israeli leaders over the Obama administration’s omission of the Shahab-3 ballistic missile from its demand to restrict ICBMs that can reach Europe and the US in Iran’s arsenal. The Shahab-3’s range of 2,100km covers all of the Middle East, including Israel. Yet it was left out, although it carries warheads weighing 760 kg, to 1.1 tons, which may also be nuclear. Hagel faced the same challenge from Saudi Arabia and the GCC.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis May 17, 2014
President Shimon Peres, who hails from the dovish Labor party, has not just been running his own political foreign policy track against Netanyahu’s, but quietly intriguing with the prime minister’s foes on a plan to remove him and his Likud from power. Although two foes have fallen, Peres is served by Netanyahu’s predilection for sitting on the fence on vital issues - including calling him to order for stepping out of the bounds of his presidential authority. Netanyahu is now hunting for a dependable ally to place in the presidential residence.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 15, 2014
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Israel Wednesday May 14 for talks with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon from an inspection of the US-Jordanian underground command center located 10 kilometers north of Amman, debkafile reports. It was the first visit by a high-ranking US official to a US military facility directly involved in the Syrian war. His talks in Jordan and Israel will determine whether the US-backed rebel forces engaged in battle for control of the Golan town of Quneitra, open a new southern front against Bashar Assad and threaten Damascus.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis May 10, 2014
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrives in Jeddah next Monday, May 12, for a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council defense ministers, the first to be attended by an American defense chief in six years. This prolonged absence reflected the Obama administration’s military disengagement from Middle East affairs and their ensuing political estrangement. Hagel will find Gulf states bent on self-defense and ready to contend with Iran without recourse to the US. Jordan and Israel are also withdrawing from commitments to play ball with Washington.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 1, 2014
The creeping Russian takeover of E. Ukraine is advancing by proxy as separatists seize one city after another without facing resistance.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 31, 2014
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Sunday March 30 instructed Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s supreme commander in Europe, to set out at once from Washington to Brussels for consultations with alliance commanders on a possible Russian invasion of Moldova’s Russian-speaking breakaway enclave of Transnistria, after Crimea. Chairs of both US House and Senate Intelligence Committees report Russian forces massed on Ukrainian borders, as well as covert forces inside the country. Some reports claim a Russian buildup in South Ossetia too for a possible thrust into Armenia.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 7, 2014
The US delivers assault helicopters in special airlift to Israel and places its Middle East forces on high alert, especially in the Mediterranean. Russian armed forces also remain on combat readiness.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 8, 2013
Kerry’s mission was to soften Saudi and Israeli mistrust of the Obama administration’s intentions on Iran and Syria. The Israeli and Saudi leaders refused to be placated.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 4, 2013
Putin has devised a complex game of diplomatic ping pong for pushing through understandings with Obama first to resolve the Syrian chemical crisis and currently to settle the nuclear controversy with Iran. DEBKA Weekly reveals how it works.
The sarin shells fired on Damascus - by Syrian 4th Division’s 155th Brigade - were followed by rockets on Israel and car bombings in Lebanon
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 24, 2013
Within 48 hours, Assad and Iran launched a three-point punitive offensive for foreign intervention in the Syrian war, debkafile reports. The facts: The sarin nerve gas shells which claimed more than 1,000 Syrian lives Wednesday, Aug. 21, were fired by the 155th Brigade of the Syrian army’s 4th Division commanded by Gen. Maher Assad from Mount Kalmun. This atrocity was followed by a rocket attack on Israel from Lebanon and deadly blasts in Tripoli. The price for not stopping Assad and Tehran now is likely to become even grimmer.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 22, 2013
By two comments, Israel confirmed Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 21 and 22, that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons on civilians in the region of Damascus – the first came from Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who said "The use of chemical weapons by the regime is not a first,” and the second from Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, who reported corroborative intelligence. Yet no one anywhere admits that Syria, any more than Iran, has crossed US and Israeli red lines and that this necessitates direct action.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 2, 2013
Egypt’s Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will run for president – possibly before the end of the year, debkafile reports exclusively. He plans to launch a short election campaign on August 15. Untroubled by US and European criticism, the general is restoring the Egyptian army to political center. And like former presidents Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak, he will repress the Muslim Brotherhood. Washington’s answer is the appointment as ambassador to Cairo of former envoy to Damascus Robert Ford, who excelled in building ties with the Syrian opposition.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 10, 2013
The Obama administration’s slowcoach policy on Syria has given Iran and Hizballah unfettered access to intervene in the Syrian civil war, magnifying its lethality and prospects of its spilling over into Israel, Turkey and Jordan, says debkafile. It will further deteriorate when Washington’s expectations of an international conference are not recprocated by Moscow.
White House to Congress: Assad has used chemical weapons. Israeli jets down Hizballah drone opposite Haifa
DEBKAfile Special Report April 25, 2013
In a striking reversal, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in Abdu Dhabi Thursday, April 25, that US intelligence now believes the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its own people.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 23, 2013
Red lines have been flattened by Iran’s rapid progress toward a nuclear weapon and by Bashar Assad’s mockery, backed by Tehran, of US President Barack Obama’s warning that “proof of chemical weapons use would be a game changer.” Two Israeli ex-intelligence chiefs Tuesday, April 23 underlined Israel-US differences.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 23, 2013
Israel’s chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz warned Monday, April 22, that tribal and ethnic warfare on the scale of Afghanistan awaited Syria. debkafile: Two heavily armed Hizballah combat brigades are fighting for Bashar Assad south of Homs.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 21, 2013
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s Middle East trip was supposed to present the $10 billion US arms sales to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE as a signal for deterring a nuclear Iran. The Boston bombings shifted the onus of his trip to Syria and al Qaeda. Russian cooperation was a vital source of intelligence for nabbing the two bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Friday, April 19. Russian President Vladimir Putin will almost certainly claim his quid pro quo in Syrian currency.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 18, 2013
Although Obama has approved the deployment of 200 US troops to Jordan, no one knows whether he will order enough military strength to save King Abdullah if his kingdom comes under Syrian attack.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 17, 2013
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Wednesday, April 17, that 200 troops of the US 1st Armored Division had been sent to Jordan to give the United States the ability to "potentially form a joint task force [with Jordan] for military operations, if ordered" by the President. debkafile’s military sources report that they are ranged on the Jordanian-Syrian border to counter a potential Syrian attack. In a potential war between Syria and Jordan backed by US troops, Israel would almost certainly become involved.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 11, 2013
US and South Korean armed forces went on the highest level of alert - Watchcon 2 - Thursday, April 11, ready for multiple launches after at least one North Korean ballistic Musudan missile was sighted fueled and ready to launch at any moment. Some Western intelligence sources attribute Pyongyang’s saber-rattling to a power struggle ongoing between Kim Jong-Un’s military backers and the generals who judge him unfit for the top command. He may order a missile launch to assert his authority against his detractors.