DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 29, 2013
After sustaining a succession of setbacks and rejections in the Arab Revolt, Hizballah faces its most agonizing debacle at the hands of its sworn enemies, Israel and the United States, if they go ahead with an operation against Assad’s chemical weapons.
US drone escapes attack over Hormuz. Syria threatens to bomb Lebanon. Russian marines dock in Beirut
DEBKAfile Special Report March 14, 2013
Middle East tensions are spiraling six days before US President Barack Obama lands in the Middle East. Thursday night, March 14, an Iranian fighter jet tried to bring down a US Predator drone over the Straits of Hormuz – until a US fighter escort fired warning flares. Syria threatened to bomb Lebanon unless Lebanese Islamists stopped pouring into Syria to fight with Jabhat a-Nusra. Three Russian warships carrying marines entered Beirut port for the first time after the Syrian Tartus port was judged unsafe.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 22, 2013
The Syrian opposition and rebels have come to terms with their inability to beat Assad’s army on the battlefield and are ready to talk. Assad won’t hear of stepping down and is preparing to run for another presidential term in 2014. Moscow which is hosting the talks stands behind him.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 22, 2013
Khamenei has cut short the brawl between Ahmadinejad and Speaker Larijani in the run-up to the June presidential election, by picking a bland, unassuming professor as his favorite candidate for next president.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 21, 2013
Nigeria reported Wednesday, Feb. 20 that it had busted a terrorist group “backed by Iranian handlers” for gathering intelligence on locations frequented by Americans and Israelis and assassinations. Its leader had received $30,000 from Tehran to expand the group from the Muslim north of the country to the Christian South. In Cyprus, Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, 24, admitted at his trial that he was a Hizballah member, who spied on locations frequented by Israelis in Limassol and acted as Hizballah “courier” in EU countries.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 15, 2013
Tehran believes the precision of the attack which killed IRGC General Hassan Shateri is evidence of deep intelligence penetration, and has placed Israel in its sights for payback. DEBKAfile: The general's last assignment was the formation of a guerrilla army of 5,000 Revolutionary Guardsmen and 5,000 Hizballlah operatives to fortify the defenses of Bashar Assad’s governing institutions and secure the main Syria-Lebanon route. Iran is determined to get Hizballah’s advanced weapons transferred from Syria to Lebanon, whatever it takes.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 8, 2013
The Syrian and Israeli armies have been on a high state of preparedness for two months ready a) for Assad to pay Israel back for its attack and b) for Israel to strike weapons transfers to Hizballah in Lebanon. Israel meanwhile imposes no-fly zones over three Syrian borders.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 8, 2013
Iran is squeezing Assad hard to push Hizballah’s weapons out of Syrian stores across the border into Lebanon. He is too heavily dependent on Tehran to refuse. Assad is also waiting for the weather to clear to settle his accounts with Israel with a limited military strike.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 1, 2013
Turkish interior minister Moammer Guler identified the suicide bomber who detonated an explosive Friday, Feb. 1 at the US embassy in Ankara, killing a Turkish security guard, as Ecevit Sanli, 31, a member of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), an outlawed left-wing terrorist group. He was released from Turkish jail eight months ago. debkafile: The DHKP/C, which is associated with Lebanese terrorist groups and Syrian left-wing factions, was suspected of the attack killing five Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria last July.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 1, 2013
Obama was convinced that by sundering Assad’s military links with Hizballah, Iran would be isolated and Assad bereft of his regime’s most active support and shield.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 27, 2013
Tehran is looking seriously at a limited Syrian-Lebanese clash of arms with Israel – possibly using Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons as a trigger, debkafile discloses. Israel reacted to this news by announcing Sunday, Jan. 27, the deployment of Iron Dome anti-missile batteries in northern Israel and Haifa port. A clash would serve Tehran by sidetracking Israel from striking Iran’s nuclear facilities and help spin out its nuclear talks with the Six Powers. Israel has got plans ready for current military challenges.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 25, 2013
The Turkish prime minister believes a resolution of the long and bloody feud with the Kurdish PKK will bring him the presidency in 2014. Iran will do its best to thwart a deal that grants more autonomy to Turkish Kurds as an undesirable precedent for stirring up its own Kurdish minority.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 21, 2013
Moscow Monday, Jan. 21 said two Russian planes would land in Beirut Tuesday to evacuate 100 Russians from Syria, and contingency plans were in hand to lift 30,000 Russians from the embattled country. debkafile: This was decided after Bashar Assad told his high command to organize mobile armored strike groups for a big push to evict rebel forces from the places they captured. Russia and Iran have stepped up their arms deliveries to Assad’s army by sea and by air in support of Assad's coming offensive.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 18, 2013
It was the first time in military history that any army had used the state-of-the art Airborne Radar Platform for repulsing a concerted enemy missile attack. Israel unveiled its Regional Airborne Radar Platform C2 in the Gaza operation to show its mettle against a blanket of Hamas missiles. It proved to Tehran and Washington that Israel is capable of going it alone against Iran and shutting down its ballistic missiles as well.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 14, 2013
The IDFs’ closure to civilian traffic of a 182-kilometer long security strip, 300 meters deep, along the Israeli-Egyptian border, resulted, debkafile reports, from the failure of US Undersecretary of Defense Michael Vickers to breathe life into the US-Egyptian-Israeli partnership for combating terror during his Cairo trip earlier this month. Refusing to reactivate the Cairo-Jerusalem “hot line” for terrorism, the Egyptians were instead engaged in détente with Iran after Al Qods chief Gen. Qassam Soleimani paid them a secret visit.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 11, 2013
The Al Qods Brigades Chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani beat the US to the draw in Cairo. He arrived in the last week of December and discussed with President Mohamed Morsi’s top advisers how his organization could help the Muslim Brotherhood build their own militia-cum-secret service.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 4, 2013
Syria launches Scuds against the rebels as they near the Al Safira chemical weapons depot. Lavrov asserts that the weapons are under control – for now. Netanyahu goes to Amman for talks with King Abdullah.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 30, 2012
Both sides to the Syrian conflict appear to have launched a form of poison chemicals against their foes. Western and Middle East military sources say pro-Assad forces may have brought into the Homs battle of Dec. 23 imported gas grenades which Iran used to quell the 2009 Tehran riots. debkafile: Although Jordan claimed Sunday it “would not enter into any alliance to protect itself,” large NATO and US forces have prepared the kingdom for chemical attack. Some intelligence sources estimate Turkey or Israel may be next after Jordan.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 25, 2012
Tehran has plans to maintain its grip on Syria, even while Washington and Russia are pressing on with secret discussions on the fate of Syrian president Bashar Assad and, in Damascus, international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi Tuesday, Dec. 25, gave himself an extra six days to mediate a deal for ending the war. debkafile: Saudi intelligence chiefs at the GCC summit in Manama revealed that Iran intends launching Hizballah and local militias to sabotage any international deals and any transitional regime.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 17, 2012
debkafile Special: Last week, the Azerbaijani police picked up six Iranian secret agents looking for the air bases housing the drones their government purchased from Israel. The agents carried cash, fake passports, automatic pistols, advanced electronic equipment for tracking aircraft and electronic warfare devices for jamming them. Their capture foiled an Iranian plot to trap one of the UAVs as it flew over the Azerbaijani-Iranian Caspian Sea border. As the agents’ clandestine handler, the Iranian culture attaché was barred form returning to Baku.