DEBKAfile Special Report June 18, 2012
Military tensions around Syria shot up again Monday, June 18, with an Iranian report that a joint Russian-Chinese-Iranian exercise is to take place in Syria, called “the biggest of its kind ever staged in the Middle East,” with 90,000 personnel, 400 air planes and 900 tanks taking part. debkafile: This would be the first time Russia and China have deployed substantial military strength in the Middle East. It points to their determination to deter a US-lead military operation against the Assad regime.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly June 12, 2012
Syria is being further wrenched apart following US President Barack Obama’s maneuverings for winning Russian cooperation in resolving the Syrian conflict for US nuclear concessions to Iran: As the coming DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday reveals, Russia is cementing its grip on Syria’s Mediterranean coast while pushing its civil war-torn heartland over to the Americans.
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DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 11, 2012
The US President Barack Obama has ordered the US Navy and Air Force to accelerate preparations for a limited air offensive against the Assad regime and the imposition of no-fly zones over Syria - depending on Moscow's reaction.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 10, 2012
Tehran early Sunday June 10 accused Syrian rebels of arming themselves with chemical weapons originating in Libya and acquiring training in their use - sending shudders of alarm through the West and Israel. They fear the Assad regime is preparing the ground for chemical assaults to finally crush its foes. Both sides to the conflict are talking about chemical warfare openly. If they go through with it, President Barack Obama will have to reconsider non-intervention and turn to limited force to stop the escalating horror.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 8, 2012
After the UN gridlock on the Syrian crisis Thursday, an American delegation headed by Fred Hoff drew a blank in talks at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow Friday, June 8, with Syrian expert, Mikhail Bogdanov. Russia flatly rejected President Barack Obama’s proposal to post 5,000 armed UN monitors in Syria, most of them Russian troops. Moscow and Tehran calculate that the higher the flames of civil war in Syria, the more the US will be blamed for the bloodshed.They therefore refuse to join any international effort to stop it.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 8, 2012
A new contact group, a Syrian military council for provisional rule under the group’s orders, and Russian-Iranian moves to make Assad step down – these are the key points of Obama’s plan for Syria, part of his grand design that also embraces Iran and its nuclear program.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 7, 2012
Iran stalled the US Secretary and UN-Arab League Envoy Kofi Annan’s plan for a contact group based on five permanent Security Council members and Iran to handle the Syrian impasse, refusing to join the group so long as it faces nuclear conditions. Tehran's non-cooperation on Syria reflected its flat-out rejection of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s demand that Iran come to the nuclear talks in Moscow “ready to take concrete steps” to curb its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 6, 2012
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Baku, Azerbaijan Wednesday, June 6, amid Ali Khamenei and Vladimir Putin’s deep disapproval of President Ilam Aliyav’s pro-Western orientation and fast-growing ties with Israel. Frictions center on Baku’s $1.6 billion arms transaction with Israel and even more, debkafile reports, on the fact that the deal is matched by expanding Azerbaijani investment in Israel’s Mediterranean gas and oil projects. This tradeoff is marked for expansion.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 28, 2012
The 12,000-strong US-Arab special forces exercise, Eager Lion 2012, ending in Jordan Wednesday, May 30, broadened the orbit of international intervention in the Arab Revolt and preparations for war with Iran. The ground section took place near the Syrian border, while the marine section practiced landings on Aqaba beaches and mountain terrain resembling strategic sites in Iran. A Russian ship has meanwhile delivered heavy ammo to Syria, soon to be followed in Tartus port by the North Korean arms ship Odai.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 21, 2012
On the return flight to Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov filled in the space left by his Prime Minister Dmitri Medvadev’s silence at the G8 summit Saturday, May 20 with a large dose of skepticism on Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 11, 2012
Foreign intervention in Syria is expanding, hemming the Assad regime in with escalating bombing attacks, rebels armed with heavy weapons or a 17-nation special forces “exercise” across the border in Jordan. How will his backers in Tehran and Moscow react?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 5, 2012
Tehran, Moscow and Ankara are deeply concerned by the joint US-Israeli-Greek naval exercise this week. They are also troubled by the just signed secret Israeli-Cypriot-Greek Mediterranean energy cooperation pact, for control of which the US has beaten Russia to the draw. Russia and Turkey have staged their own naval maneuvers as counter-measures.
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 4, 2012
Tehran is seeking a postponement of the nuclear negotiations with world powers set for April 13-14 in Istanbul, debkafile’s Iranian sources report. Washington and Jerusalem see Iran’s maneuvers as guided by two objectives: Having the venue removed from Istanbul and buying a couple more months before the diplomatic crunch - and so delaying any military option that Israel or possibly America may choose to exercise if last-chance diplomacy fails. Russian rhetoric targets the US military and naval buildup around Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 3, 2012
Not 24 hours after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that a pre-emptive strike (by the US and/or Israel) would violate international law, Moscow put muscle into his warning: Tuesday, April 3, the Russian guided missile destroyer Smetliviy arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus for a naval exercise. The ship, which carries anti-air, anti-ship and anti-submarine missiles, will hold drills with its support vessels in the same expanse of E. Mediterranean as the US-Israeli-Greek “Noble Dina” exercise.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 2, 2012
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov issued a strong warning against a military attack on Iran Monday, April 2, saying that a pre-emptive strike would violate international law. His comments, made during a visit to Armenia, stopped short of threatening (the US and/or Israel) of consequences. debkafile: Moscow and Tehran suspect that the US- Israeli-Greek air-naval exercise codenamed Noble Dina which is in progress across an unusually broad stretch of E. Mediterranean is meant to rehearse war action in the Persian Gulf.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 22, 2012
China and Pakistan are profiting hugely from sanctions-busting financial services to Iran, while Russia, India and Turkey also help cushion Tehran against the depredations of sanctions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 16, 2012
Russia like Iran was the prime helper and is the prime beneficiary of Bashar Assad’s success in crushing the armed revolt against him and gives Vladimir kudos at the start of his presidency. His foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was enabled to call the shots for the 22-member Arab League.
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
A special intelligence assessment listing the prospects and risk of the various options for Ayatollah Khamenei conclude that Barack Obama will not hazard an attack on Iran before the November election but if he is returned to the White House he will go to war early in 2013. The chances of an Israeli attack are deemed slim but not to be ignored. Tehran is negotiating for a Russian nuclear and aerial umbrella.