DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 10, 2012
Tuesday night, April 10, after Damascus skipped the truce laid down in the UN-Arab envoy Kofi Annan’s plan and escalated its attacks on the Syrian population, a change of tone was detected in Washington, reflecting the feeling that America can no longer stay aloof from the Syrian tragedy. One plan discussed is for a US air strike against an Assad regime and/or military target to show his loyal troops and the Syrian opposition that the Syrian ruler is fallible. Thursday, the UN Security Council will hear Annan's report.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 5, 2012
Russian-Iranian solidarity was dented this week by Tehran’s games to stall the nuclear talks scheduled for mid-April. Moscow wants diplomacy started without delay because Middle East tensions are close to boiling point. Iran vetoes Istanbul as the venue and refuses to talk under military or financial pressure.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 2, 2012
At the Friends of Syria 2 in Istanbul, opposition representative Prof. George Sabra failed to convince US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that a US-protected token safe haven village near Idlib would start splintering the hard face of army loyalty to Bashar Assad. The meeting ended as it began with a US commitment of funding for humanitarian aid and “communications gear for opposition forces” (to fight Assad’s tanks?), leaving Assad under no compulsion to implement any part of the Annan peace plan.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 31, 2012
Iran, Syria and Hizballah are celebrating Assad’s victory over the 12-month uprising against him and counting the advantages it confers on Tehran against the US and Saudi Arabia. The Iran-Syria-Hizballlah axis is now successfully shored up against the Obama administration’s strategy of isolation and sanctions for squeezing Iran into making concessions at the nuclear negotiations in two weeks. Both are fading. It also serves as a warning to those Israelis who advocate passing the buck for preempting a nuclear Iran to Washington.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 29, 2012
Obama’s Grand Diplomatic Offensive for using a pacified Syria to persuade Iran to be accommodating at the coming nuclear negotiations is not yet in the bag. It is dogged by Saudi objections and problems with its policy Syria due to flawed US intelligence both about Assad’s survivability and the opposition’s cohesiveness.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 16, 2012
Iran and Russia poured out every kind of assistance to shore Assad up – military, intelligence, financial, diplomatic and strategic as well as a supply of arms for crushing the opposition. Iran’s reward is the substantial strengthening of its alliance with Syria, Hizballah and Palestinian extremists. Hamas too is staying in the Iranian fold.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 2, 2012
After learning in a caustic exchange with Hillary Clinton that Obama had turned down the safe havens military plan Syria, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal offered Arab air forces for an operation against Assad. Riyadh also stepped up arms deliveries to Syrian rebels.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 26, 2012
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal marched out of the Friends of Syria conference in Tunis Friday, Feb. 24, after representatives of 70 nations fell in behind US plans designed to avoid direct action against Syria’s Bashar Assad. Riyadh accuses Washington of reducing Assad’s butchery of his opponents to the level of a humanitarian issue to save his regime and keep Iran on track for nuclear negotiations. The “safe haven” plan is seen as giving the Syrian ruler international immunity.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 10, 2012
The masters of Egyptian intelligence, who are still in power, disguised their anti-US sentiments as long as Hosni Mubarak was president. Today, they prefer to deal with the Islamists who expect to win power in Cairo and are ready to ditch Egypt's ties with America.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 30, 2012
President Bashar Assad Sunday, Jan. 30, pulled in the Syrian Republican Guard and the 4th armored division commanded by his brother Maher Assad from the north to Damascus, debkafile reports exclusively. He deployed them in battle positions in the capital for the first time following an intelligence tipoff that one of the armored division commanders had been won over by Western powers and persuaded to stage a coup d'etat in time for Tuesday's UN Security Council meeting on Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 15, 2011
Retired presidential adviser Dennis Ross in his first public appearance reveals that Barack Obama has charted a new Mid East policy which cares fully for Israeli, Saudi security needs but freezes them out of Washington policy-making. The Palestinian issue is put on ice indefinitely.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 7, 2011
Tuesday, Dec. 6, the US, France and Britain went into concerted action to contain the Syrian crisis before it detonates a regional conflict and deteriorates into civil strife. At the same time, Syria and its neighbors sharply intensified their war preparations, fully expecting diplomacy to fail. In Geneva, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the leaders of Syrian opposition groups that the Obama administration had stepped up its pressure on Assad and now referred to his regime as the "Assad gang."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 21, 2011
Libya may well be plunged in even bloodier strife after Muammar Qaddafi's passing. The meddling foreign hands backing rival individuals, militias and tribes will only exacerbate the divisions and animosities riddling the interim government of the NTC and the country at large.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 14, 2011
The Israel-Hamas prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit and the exposure of the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador opened two new US fronts against Iran: The relocation of Hamas HQ from Damascus to Cairo which deprived Iran and Syria of their Palestinian lever and a pretext for the Saudis to declare war on the Islamic Republic.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 14, 2011
The Obama administration has never wavered from its ambition to see the Muslim Brotherhood in government in Egypt or its policy of linking Egypt's destiny with a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It hopes to discourage the burgeoning Muslim Brotherhood from casting its fate with Tehran on the grounds that Iran has no influence on Israel whereas American leverage on Jerusalem is substantial.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 9, 2011
By ordering Turkish warships to escort aid ships to Gaza and stop Israel's offshore gas exploitation, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is muscling his way into the eastern Mediterranean and taking his dispute with Israel to the brink. He is also challenging Greece and Cyprus. Cairo and Riyadh are also worried about his intentions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 19, 2011
After ruling out direct military intervention, most governments concerned in the drive to oust Bashar Assad find that arming the rebels and pumping thousands of Sunni volunteers into Syria are the only feasible option. But before this plan is up and running, he is expected to preemptively employ the Lebanese Shiite Hizballah for heating up the Lebanese-Israel border or even spark an all-out conflagration between the two long-time foes which would quickly ignite the Golan border between Syria and Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 13, 2011
Thursday night, Aug. 11, US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan agreed to set Syrian President Bashar Assad the deadline of Aug. 27 for extinguishing the popular uprising against his rule and starting to implement genuine democratic reforms. This decision followed Erdogan's report to Obama on the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's six-hour conversation with Assad Tuesday, Aug. 9. Turkey has called up reserves for transfer to the Syrian border.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 8, 2011
As his tanks and artillery stormed the eastern Syrian town of Deir al-Zour, killing 100 civilians in one day, the US and Turkey Sunday night, Aug. 7 began to turn the screw on President Bashar Assad: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu to press Syria to "return its military to the barracks," during his visit to Syria Tuesday. The Syrian ruler with Iranian backing spurned the ultimatum even before the minister reached Damascus.
DEBKAfile Special Report July 28, 2011
Russia has threatened to freeze the "reset" ties with the United States, which recently produced valuable cooperation and friendly understandings between the two powers in vital global arenas. debkafile's Moscow sources report the areas most affected are likely to be the Israel-Palestinian dispute, Moscow's effort to broker an end to the Libyan war and the Russian supply route for US forces fighting in Afghanistan.