Al Qaeda’s thrust toward Golan: Israel, Saudis, Jordan share urgent need to stem the fast-multiplying peril
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 26, 2013, 6:39 PM (GMT+02:00)
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, 11:02 PM (GMT+02:00)
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, 12:40 AM (GMT+02:00)
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, 6:01 PM (GMT+02:00)
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, 11:52 PM (GMT+02:00)
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.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 15, 2013, 2:41 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Obama administration and Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on a visit to Washington backed away Friday, June 14, from any effective response to the Syrian ruler’s proven use of chemical weapons against rebel forces. On the ground, debkafile’s military sources reported Hizballah and Syrian army movements were detected heading toward the Golan and the Jordanian border from the military concentrations building up in the last two weeks around the nearby town of Deraa. Those sources also concluded that Hizballah has been awarded “limited-use” chemical weapons
Moscow sets up Russian Golan brigade, warns Israel Sunnis plus al Qaeda are bigger threat than Assad
DEBKAfile Special Report June 10, 2013, 7:54 PM (GMT+02:00)
Moscow is determined to position Russian troops on the divided Golan as part of the UN force policing the separation sector because, said the Russian lawmaker Aleksey Pushkov Monday, June 10, “we cannot exclude… large-scale Syrian-Israel action.” He warned that if Assad was replaced by radical Islamists, he would seem like “an angel from heaven.” Vladimir Shamanov, Russian Airborne Troops chief, disclosed that a new brigade, dubbed “a peacekeeping unit,” had set up for the Golan and armed with MI-24 combat helicopters.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 8, 2013, 7:40 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Kremlin pointedly disclosed President Vladimir Putin’s chat with Binyamin Netanyahu on Syria Friday June 7 - their third conversation in a month. debkafile: The frequent communications between the Russian and Israeli leaders speak volumes about who is calling the shots for Syria and the region.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 7, 2013, 11:56 PM (GMT+02:00)
The UN rejected President Vladimir Putin’s offer Friday, June 7 of Russian peacekeepers to replace the Austrian contingent to be withdrawn from the Golan. debkafile: Putin saw an opportunity to place Russian troops face to face with the Israeli army as a barrier against anti-Assad military intervention from Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 4, 2013, 11:25 AM (GMT+02:00)
When Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon informed a Knesset panel Monday, June 3 that Syrian rebels still occupied four Damascus districts, debkafile’s intelligence sources reported the battle for the Syrian capital was all but over. Senior IDF officers: Flawed intelligence may lead to faulty decision-making.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 30, 2013, 5:52 PM (GMT+02:00)
Senior Israeli intelligence sources insisted to debkafile Thursday May 30 that Syria had still not received any Russian S-300 anti-missile batteries – contrary to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s claim that the first batch had arrived. Israel says it will destroy them before they are operational.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 21, 2013, 6:47 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tuesday, May 21, after an exchange of fire on the Golan, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said: “Last night we destroyed a Syrian army position which fired on an Israeli patrol.” Damascus earlier took responsibility for the attack and threatened to strike back for Israeli reprisals.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis May 18, 2013, 2:30 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Syrian war is set for its next stage, the spillover of hostilities from Syrian Golan into Israel. debkafile: This is the consequence ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 8, 2013, 10:13 PM (GMT+02:00)
As the Syrian army makes further gains against rebel forces, debkafile reports Hizballah and Israel appear to be in the process of relocating their lines of confrontation from Lebanon to Syria. An Israeli enclave is forming around the IDF medical facilities on the Golan, while Hizballah is taking command of three pockets.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 13, 2013, 1:42 PM (GMT+02:00)
After the Damascus units, the Syrian army has distributed protective suits to units in southern
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 3, 2013, 8:08 AM (GMT+02:00)
In fierce battles with Syrian troops, Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra front is spearheading the rebels’ advance on two Syrian army chemical weapons depots - at the Al-Safira base in the north and the Dumeir facility 40 km northeast of Damascus. Tuesday, April 2, Israel’s top security officials were on the Golan to inspect the IDF Golan border units’ state of readiness. On his first visit to the territory as defense minister, Moshe Yaalon said Israel would prevent the proliferation of weapons that “could threaten us.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 25, 2013, 1:03 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Al Musanna Brigade of al Qaeda’s Syrian arm, Jabhat al-Nusra, captured the highly strategic intersection of the Syrian, Israeli and Jordan borders, just east of the Golan, on Passover Eve, Monday, March 25, debkafile reports exclusively. The jihadists have also seized Wadi ar-Raqqad which marks the Golan’s eastern boundary and is one of Israel’s water sources. Next door, Iraqi Al Qaeda is preparing to push trucks loaded with Chlorine gas-CI trucks into Syria for the jihadists to use against Assad’s forces.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 13, 2013, 10:16 PM (GMT+02:00)
Al Qaeda’s Syrian wing, Jabhat al-Nusra, led a Syrian rebel operation Wednesday, March 13, to occupy Golan and cleanse it of Syrian troops, so as to be prepare for its use for cross-border attacks on Israel and Jordan – possibly during US President’ Barack Obama’s visits on March 20-22. debkafile: An Iron Dome battery will be installed at
DEBKAfile Special Report March 11, 2013, 5:25 AM (GMT+02:00)
debkafile reports hundreds of UN Disengagement and Observers Force (UNDOF) soldiers - Indian, Austrian and Filipino - in trucks and APCs in full flight from the Syrian side of Golan into Israel early Monday, March 11. They were urged to leave by their commanders, who said “We can no longer vouch for your safety.” Syrian rebel Islamists are feared vying with Hizballah to seize control of the abandoned 8-sq.km Syrian-Israel separation zone while the IDF is massing reinforcements to keep them out.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 6, 2013, 6:55 AM (GMT+02:00)
When Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon Tuesday, March 5, he heard for the first time in years American criticism of the Israeli army for under-reacting – in this case to the chemical weapons threat emanating from Syria. Israel was also berated for under-estimating this menace and failing to take into account the likely need to send troops into Syria. Barak received official US confirmation that chemical weapons had reached HIzballah.