Israeli fighter jets stage warning passes against Syrian air force intruders over Golan. Air tension high
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 24, 2015
Israeli fighter jets flew passes over the Golan Monday, Feb. 23 as a warning to Syrian helicopters and fighter planes to stop encroaching on the no-fly zone, in violation of standing Israeli-Syrian armistice agreements, debkafile reports. The Syrian warplanes planes dropped barrel bombs on Syrian rebel forces holding Quneitra. Spotters counted at least 30 bombs dropped by helicopters under cover of Syrian air force jets. Their crews took no notice of the Israeli fighter jets and drones present. However, a repeat performance is unlikely to be tolerated.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 21, 2015
debkafile reveals that a large-scale Iranian airlift is flying thousands of Shiite fighters to the Syrian Mediterranean port of Latakia to reinforce Syrian forces defeated in the last 48 hours by rebels at Aleppo and to save them from retreat. This development is seriously disturbing Israel’s army chiefs. They reckon that Tehran’s promptness in sending over thousands of foreign troops to save Assad’s army, would apply equally to a possible setback in the offensive led by Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers to capture the Golan town of Quneitra across from Israel’s lines.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 18, 2015
Scores of Iranian and Hizballah fighters and a Syrian general were killed by “friendly fire” from the Syrian army’s 9th Division’s artillery and missiles Wednesday, Feb. 18, debkafile report. The incident, during their push from S. Syria to the Golan is attributed to faulty coordination among the assorted forces in the drive for Quneitra, where Tehran plans to establish a major military outpost and forward command center up against Israel’s Golan deployment. This is the first instance of Syria’s Bashar Assad agreeing to pass a warfront to Iranian command.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 17, 2015
The Iranian-backed “Operation Quneitra Martyrs” for the capture of the Golan brings Afghan and Pakistani Shiite fighters to an Israeli border for the first time, debkafile reveals that 2,000 of these fighters have joined an equal number of Hizballah troops, who are spearheading a march on the Golan from southern Syria. They were recruited from the Hazara and Zaynubian militias established by Tehran. After polishing their combat skills and learning to fight as an integrated force, Iran plans to deploy them in Lebanon to augment Hizballah’s war on Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 11, 2015
A large Syrian force - combined with thousands of Shiite and Hizballah fighters - Sunday, Feb. 8 launched its broadest southern offensive in the four-year conflict, heralding Act III of the Iranian-Hizballah drive for a foothold on Israel’s Golan border, debkafile reports. By Wednesday, Feb. 11, “Operation Ali Allah Dadi for Quneitra Martyrs,” had reached to within 5-6 km south and east of Quneitra, ready for a final assault on the Syrian Golan town. Israel’s failure to curtail their advance would let Iran take up a forward position on its doorstep.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 5, 2015
Iran is putting the first interlocking pieces in place for its Shiite Crescent empire in Anbar, Iraq and the Qalamoun Mountains of western Syria. Israel is the fly in the Syrian ointment.
Two Israeli soldiers killed, 7 injured by Hizballah fire from Mt. Dov on unarmored IDF command vehicle. The IDF hit back
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 28, 2015
The IDF spokesman discloses that an officer and soldier were killed and 7 injured in coordinated Hizballah rocket and mortar attacks from Mt. Dov (Shabaa Farms) on an Israeli command patrol vehicle near the border Wednesday, Jan. 28. debkafile: The vehicle was not armored. The pro-Iranian Hizballah claimed the attack. Israel deployed artillery and aircraft to hit back at Hizballah and allied targets in South Lebanon. A major military clash ensued. debkafile: Israel is resolved to ward off any Iranian-Hizballah plans for a war of attrition.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 22, 2015
President Barack Obama offered two options for resolving the Iranian nuclear impasse: His administration’s diplomatic engagement, or a new Mid East war. Neither the US Congress nor Israel accepts the Obama formula. Israel decided to strike an Iranian-Hizballah military convoy on Golan, causing the death of an Iranian general. This provided Senate sanctions initiatives with military muscle. House Speaker John Boehner responded by inviting Binyamin Netanyahu to address Congress on Feb. 11 on Iranian nuclear and radical Islamic threats. Between now and then, none of the parties may stand idle.
Israel’s climb-down over Golan air strike: We didn’t know Hizballah’s convoy carried high Iranian officers
DEBKAfile Special Report January 20, 2015
Israel Tuesday, Jan. 20, used the media to relay a “clarification” to Tehran, asserting that its air strike over the Golan Sunday did not target Gen. Mohammad “Ali Allah Dadi and his staff of five, who were not known to be traveling in the Hizballah convoy. “We thought we were hitting an enemy field unit on its way to attack us,” said a senior Israeli security official. debkafile: Sharp US intervention was almost certainly behind Israel’s embarrassing “clarification” so as to avert an all-out confrontation that would have put paid to nuclear talks.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 19, 2015
Israeli military chiefs are gearing up for an early Hizballah cross-border attack on Upper or Western Galilee in response to the helicopter strike which Sunday, Jan. 18, killed 5 Hizballah and 6 Iranian officers, including Iranian general Mohammad Ali Allah Dadi. Tehran also promised retribution. Monday noon, security units in Galilee were put on alert for defending the population of a quarter of a million against attack. debkafile: Even more than Hizballah’s rockets, Israelis in the north dread terrorist invasions from Lebanon through Hamas-style tunnels.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 18, 2015
Lebanese and Western sources reveal that the two missiles fired Sunday, Jan. 18, by Israeli helicopters at an armed military convoy on the Syrian side of the Golan struck a group of Iranian and Hizballah officers near Quneitra. Five Hizballah officers were killed, including Jihad Mughniyeh son of the Shiite terrorist movement’s military chief, whom Israel killed in 2008, and an Iranian commander. debkafile: The group was inspecting a site for deploying a Hizballah force integrated in Syria’s surface missile deployment opposite Israel’s Golan lines.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 17, 2014
The Syrian rebel Yarmouk Shuhada Brigades, backed and trained in Jordan for two years by US officers and supported by the Israeli army, has abruptly dumped them and switched to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, debkafile’s exclusive sources reveal. This sudden defection leaves IDF defense formations on the Golan, US and Jordanian deployments in the northern part of the kingdom, and pro-Western rebel conquests in southern Syria in danger of collapse. ISIS gains direct access to a long section of Israel’s Golan border with Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 10, 2014
A group of at least ten ISIS operations and intelligence officers, led by a senior commander, has arrived in Sinai and taken charge of the local Ansar Beit al-Maqdas jihadis, thereby opening up a dangerous new front against Egypt and Israel, in proximity to the Suez Canal, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, debkafile reports. Since Ansar pledged allegiance to IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdad considers Sinai a province of his Islamic caliphate. His forward command in Sinai is directed to move from targeting Egypt to fighting the “Egyptian-Zionist alliance.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 9, 2014
The Israeli government has radically changed tack on Syria, reversing a policy and military strategy that were long geared to opposing Syrian President Bashar Assad, debkafile reports exclusively. This reversal was prompted by the increasing preponderance of radical Islamists among the Syrian rebels fighting Assad’s army in the Quneitra area. It calls for a delicate balancing act. While loath to see Assad winning the Syrian war, Israel has no desire to have Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, Al Nusra, sitting just across the Golan border in control of Quneitra.
Syria forces ranged for major counteroffensive to dislodge rebels from Quneitra. High tension on Golan
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 3, 2014
Soldiers of the Syrian army’s 7th Division and tanks were poised Wednesday, Sept. 3 for an imminent all-out offensive against rebels holding parts of Quneitra, debkafile reports. The Syrians may move their tanks into the battle zone, in defiance of Israel’s caution via the UN that they would be infringing ceasefire agreements and incur IDF counteraction. Damascus counts on Israel being deterred from striking Syrian forces fighting Syrian Islamists after the wave of revulsion from the beheading of the Jewish American journalist Steven Sotloff by Iraqi Islamists.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 31, 2014
debkafile reports exclusively that the UAV an Israeli Patriot battery shot down Sunday Aug. 31 over Quneitra on the Golan was launched by Hizballah – not Syria as reported. The Iran-made Ababail 2 was on a photography and intelligence-gathering mission over the Golan battleground, where the Syrian army and rebels are fighting over the Quneitra crossing. It is estimated that Hizballah was not planning to join the battle, but rather concerned in case the rebels beat back Syrian troops and broke through from northern Golan to Mt. Hermon and southern Lebanon.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 30, 2014
US Secretary of State John Kerry called Saturday, Aug. 30 for a “coalition of nations… to stamp out the disease of the Islamic state group,” following President Barack Obama highly-criticized denial of a strategy for “dealing with Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.” The British premier revealed that Al Qaeda carried out the attack on the Jewish museum of Brussels. World leaders wax eloquent on the Islamist peril, but prefer to fight it at leisure through “allies” and “coalitions.” Israel too avoided reacting to the abduction of 43 UN observers at its Golan back door.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 28, 2014
The battle for Quneitra has no real military importance for the Syrian conflict at large, says debkafile. The Syrian army, helped by Iran and Hizballah, is winning and the rebel side crumbling. However, integrated in the rebel contingents fighting for Quneitra, with US, Israeli and Jordanian backing, are Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front fighters and its Sinai arm, Ansar Beit Al-Madis, which works hand in glove with Israel’s foe, the Palestinian Hamas. When a black Al Qaeda flag flies over Quneitra 200 m from its Golan border, Israel will face a new dilemma.
Israel struck nine Syrian targets in response to boy’s death, and as a boost for the rebel bid for Quneitra
DEBKAfile Special Report June 23, 2014
Israel carried out nine strikes against Syrian military targets after midnight Monday, June 23, in retaliation for a Kornet rocket attack which killed an Israeli boy, and injured two others a few hours earlier. They were conducted by air and by Spike NLOS anti-tank missiles (Tamuz), against the Syrian 90th Brigade command center in Quneitra and three battalions. The IDF Spokesman said this was in response for ongoing cross-border aggression. debkafile: It was also an opportunity to help Syrian rebels break their standoff with Syria forces in the battle for Quneitra.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 5, 2014
A small Hizballah force took up position Thursday, June 5, on the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing directly opposite the IDF’s Golan deployment, debkafile reports exclusively. This was the first known instance of a Hizballah unit setting foot on the Golan. Intelligence observers reckon it may be the vanguard for a sizeable force on the way to break the stalemate reached by the Syrian army and rebels in their month-long battle for the town of Quneitra. Assad and Hizballah’s Nasrallah attach high strategic importance to keeping the town under Damascus control.