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.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 26, 2014
Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah in his latest speech Sunday night, May 25, accused the IDF in unusual detail of providing anti-Assad rebels fighting in South Syria and Golan with added firepower. A Western military source told debkafile: “When the senior strategist of a military group shows off his intelligence, that is a declaration of war.” Nasrallah also accused Israel of violent incursions into southern Lebanon, saying, “Until now we haven’t reacted.” But next time “we’ll hit back at once.” Israel’s military chiefs treat this as a Hizballah threat of a dual-front war from Lebanon and Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 22, 2014
The US backs local Syrian militias in effort to take south Syria and establish intelligence on the ground, but Assad is countering key bid for Quneitra.
US assigns 13,000 servicemen to first ever combined US-Jordan-Israeli exercise. Hizballah heads for Golan
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 21, 2014
For two conjoined military exercises with Israel (Juniper Cobra) and Jordan (Eager Lion), the US has moved more than 6,000 Marines to the kingdom and several thousand servicemen to Israel. The Jordanian drill lasts from Sunday, May 25 to June 8. The US-Israeli exercise began this week with another 6,000 combat personnel arriving from the US European Command and 1,000 airmen to operate missile defense systems. Wednesday, May 21, border tensions shot up on the news of large Hizballah military contingents on the move toward southern Syria.
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 Report May 13, 2014
Nine Syrian rebel militias are advancing on the main Syrian Golan town of Quneitra (pop: 20,000) to wrest from the Syrian army its last Golan foothold with access to the Israeli border. The first objective of their Operation “Levant of the Prophet” is to seize the Quneitra-Ein Zivan crossing, before targeting Quneitra the town. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who visited the Golan Tuesday, May 13, said, “Syrian rebels have pushed Assad’s military into a corner.” debkafile: Quneitra’s fall would free the Golan and S. Syria of the presence of Assad’s army and Hizballah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 10, 2014
Assad moves fast to extend his military dominance over the south after discovering rebels backed by the US, Israel and Jordan taking over borderlands including the Golan.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 9, 2014
The Syrian army’s 90th Brigade’s loss of the forward Tel Al-Ahmar Golan position to rebel forces including al Qaeda’s Nusra Front was Bashar Assad’s most humiliating military setback in the past year. Situated on the Israeli border, that position commands the Golan town of Quneitra opposite the Israeli army. Determined to recover it, Assad has mustered a Syrian-Hizballah-Iraqi Shiite expeditionary force. Israel will have to decide how to deal with violations of the Golan demilitarized zone if the Syrian army uses heavy armor and mounts air strikes against the rebels.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 20, 2014
The presumption is gaining ground in Israel that the bombing attack on an Israeli Golan position Tuesday, March 18, injuring four paratroops, may not have been the work of Hizballah, but of al Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant–ISIS, which is revealed now to have to have infiltrated the Syrian Golan. debkafile reports two more disturbing developments: ISIS Sinai cells are plotting a big coordinated operation against Egypt and Israel; and Syrian military intelligence is arming and funding Iraqi al Qaeda – both to crush the Nusra front and hit Israel on the Golan.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 19, 2014
That Israel has no answer for attacks from Syrian territory was apparent from its response to the bombing Tuesday, March 18 of the Golan Post 104, which injured four paratroopers – one seriously - the fourth such attack this month. Artillery and rockets were directed at a Syrian army post near Quneitra followed by air strikes. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon held the Assad regime responsible.debkafile: Holding a sovereign state responsible for terrorist action from its soil never worked in Gaza and will only lead to a war of attrition in the north.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 5, 2014
Hizballah is bent on making Israel’s northern borders active warfronts. Early Wednesday, March 5, an Israeli patrol fired on a group planting a roadside bomb at the Syrian-Israeli border fence near Merom Hagolan, Five days ago, Hizballah launched two rockets against an IDF Golan outpost. Due warning of the coming escalation came from Bashar Assad's communications adviser Bouthaina Shaaban in an interview March 3 to Hizballah's mouthpiece, the al-Mayadeen news network. debkafile: This action would not have been approved without Tehran’s say-so.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2014
The US has set up a new rebel command center at Quneitra near Israeli lines on the Golan. Its officers are indigenous Bedouin Al Nuaim tribesmen, defectors from the Syrian army, and Free Syrian Army survivors. Last week, Assad’s forces ambushed Syrian rebels trained in Jordan as they crossed into Syria. Over this weekend, his troops moved in on the environs of Quneitra and captured two villages. debkafile: There is still a long way to go before a force is ready to fight for a border strip in southern Syria under US-Israeli-Jordanian control.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 20, 2014
The Obama administration reverts to its former plan for a US-backed Syrian enclave in South Lebanon as a lever for influence in Damascus, to be achieved with Israeli, Saudi and Jordanian help.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 19, 2014
Israel’s top leaders marked the second round of nuclear talks between the Six Powers and Iran with a visit Tuesday, Feb. 18, to injured Syrians at the IDF field hospital in central Golan. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said: “I would like to tell the world today that Iran has changed neither its aggressive policy nor its brutal character…” debkafile: The IDF has thrown up a new dual bulwark on both sides of the Syrian border, including the new Bashan territorial division complete with a high-tech combat intelligence collection battalion.
Al Qaeda’s thrust toward Golan: Israel, Saudis, Jordan share urgent need to stem the fast-multiplying peril
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 26, 2013
The Golan villages' defense units along the Israeli-Syrian border will be put through their paces by an IDF exercise next week to build up their readiness and freshen their tactics against terrorist incursions. debkafile: It is estimated that the figure of 6,000 jihadists of Al Qaeda and affiliates present in Syria today will have doubled by next spring. Israel's alarm is shared by Saudi Arabia, which sees al Qaeda massing in Syria and on its borders with Jordan, Iraq and Yemen and threatening to overrun Lebanon and Jordan.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 8, 2013
Large Syrian forces through Tuesday night, Oct. 8, tightened the siege on the rebel-held town of Khan Arnabeh which is the key to controlling the main highway from the capital, Damascus, to the Syrian Golan. The town is expected to fall quite soon. Its capture also provides the key to the central crossroads around the Golan town of Quneitra and will enable the Syria army to return to the UN-policed disengagement zone dividing the enclave between Syria and Israel. debkafile: The rebels are putting up no more than token resistance.
DEBKAfile Special Report July 17, 2013
The Golan saw a chain of unexplained incidents after midnight Tuesday, July 16: Unidentified gunmen stole into an unmanned IDF position in the demilitarized zone of the Golan to the east of the Israeli-Syrian border. An Israeli patrol came under fire near Tel Fares from Syrian soldiers when it went to investigate. Israeli helicopters were then scrambled over the scene of action. IDF officers suspect that the Syrian troops tried to use the mystery infiltrators to fire off shots at the Israeli patrol. No one was hurt.
Israeli leaders rebut criticism of under-reacting to threats from Syria by hinting at covert operations
DEBKAfile Special Report June 28, 2013
Senior Israeli officers in the North estimate that the IDF’s performance is just 40 percent of what is required for defending Israel’s border against the threats building up from the Golan. For too long, Israeli intelligence has been in thrall to the misconception that Bashar Assad’s days are numbered and underestimated Hizballah’s combat effectiveness in the Syrian war. Friday, an Iron Dome anti-missile battery was finally deployed to the northern town of Haifa, after a different kind of rhetoric came from Israeli leaders.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 27, 2013
Rebel factions in Aleppo are deeply fractured and disorganized. They say promised US weapons never arrived. Assad plans to stage a terrorist campaign against Israel from the Golan to steal attention from expected atrocities for conquering Aleppo.