DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 17, 2015
Thursday and Friday, April 16-17, two branches of Al Qaeda took the lead in violent conflicts, catapulting key areas of the Middle East into more peril. In Yemen, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and in Iraq, the Islamic State (ISIS), launched new offensives 3.050 kilometer apart. debkafile: Both branches of the Islamist terror movement used the absence of competent adversarial troops on the ground – American and Saudi - to push forward in the two arenas. They also exploited the contradictions in Washington’s attitude towards their foe, Tehran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 16, 2015
Pakistan has ditched Saudi Arabia and turned to Iran for the sake of a Chinese investment in a pipeline for Iranian gas to solve its energy crisis.
Iran, Saudi Arabia in tense buildup opposite Yemen’s Gulf of Aden shore: US air tankers refueling Saudi jets
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 10, 2015
Saudi-Iranian saber-rattling over Yemen reached a dangerous peak Thursday, April 9: The Saudi army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri, said the Iranian flotilla of warships posted to the Gulf of Aden would not be permitted to enter Yemeni territorial waters. He threatened Iranians “remaining in Yemen” would suffer the same fate as the Houthi rebels. An Iranian-Saudi clash of arms in the Red Sea can’t be ruled out, after Egyptian and Iranian warships exchanged fire over the Bab El-Mandeb Strait. Friday, Saudis banned flights of Iranian pilgrims to Mecca.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 7, 2015
Moscow claims to have evacuated hundreds of Russian nationals from Yemen by an air lift running out of Sanaa airport. But debkafile reports exclusively that this was prevented by a Saudi ban on the landing of Russian flights at any Yemeni airport from March 27, when the Saudi Air Force took control of Yemeni airspace. The Russian nationals were eventually evacuated by sea to Cairo. Meanwhile, Saudi Air Force F-15s demolished the Russian consulate in Aden housing a regional spy facility, as Riyadh goes head to head with Moscow.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 28, 2015
Iran’s top war commander, Al Qods Brigades chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani, landed in Sanaa Friday, March 27, debkafile reports, to organize a counter-offensive for the Saudi-Gulf-Egyptian operations against Tehran-backed Houthi rebel advances. By opening its third direct Middle East warfront after Syria and Iraq, Tehran was holding the Obama administration to its promise of support as the leading Middle East power, in return for signing a nuclear framework deal by March 31. Solemeini’s must urgently restore Iran’s sea and air supply lines to Yemen, cut off by Saudi-led air strikes.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 26, 2015
The surprise Saudi-Egyptian-GCC military action in Yemen for cutting down Iran’s proxy Houthis may be the opening shot for further Sunni action against Shiite Iran’s Middle East positions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 26, 2015
In the Yemen operation, the Sunni camp led by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the GCC cuts short Iran’s supplies to the Houthi rebels and advance on Aden.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 26, 2015
Obama has reduced relations with Israel to an all-time low, a sacrifice on the alter of his deepening ties with Tehran.
Egypt seizes Bab el Mandeb ahead of Iran. Saudis bomb Iran-backed Yemeni Houthis. US launches air strikes over Tikrit
DEBKAfile Special Report March 26, 2015
In a surprise step, Egyptian forces Thursday morning, March 26, seized control of the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Straits to pre-empt Tehran’s grab for this important energy shipping gateway between the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal, debkafile reports. It rounded off the just-launched Saudi-led air strikes against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, signaling a 10-nation Sunni Arab revolt against Iran’s approaching takeover of Yemen and other Mid East positions with Washington’s support, and coinciding with the first US air strikes over Tikrit in aid of Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 19, 2015
The Saudis and Gulf are pulling the financial rug from under Amman for playing ball with Tehran at US instigation. Israel may also withdraw its shield from the royal family.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 12, 2015
The Saudis warn Washington that the Sunnis of Iraq would sooner fight against Iran-backed Shiite militias come to liberate them than their Islamic State occupiers. Riyadh is meanwhile trying to hire the Nusra militia as its Syrian proxy.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 5, 2015
The religious wars already afoot in three Middle East countries, Syria, Yemen and Iraq have overtaken the predictions of Western Cassandras, as Iran initiates challenges to Sunni powers.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 26, 2015
The US can’t get its Mosul spring offensive against ISIS off the ground because Iraqi troops are not ready and the Kurds and Arab coalition members are holding back for taking part.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 8, 2015
The strings of the pro-Iranian Houthi rebels’ coup which toppled the Yemeni government in Sanaa were pulled from Tehran and Washington. Their partnership helped the Houthis reach their goal, currently confined to parts of central Yemen and all of the North. debkafile: The uprising’s dominant figure is none other than Ali Abdullah Saleh, ousted as Yemen president in 2012. Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates, Jordan and Israel are watching the US-Iranian partnership in Yemen with deep foreboding. They fear the Obama administration is using the war on Islamists as a façade for promotingTehran’s regional ambitions.
Oil markets seek stability under new Saudi King Salman. A short price spurt followed Abdullah’s death
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 23, 2015
The new Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz pledged continuity for the kingdom’s oil and other policies in his first speech Friday, Jan. 23, following the death of his half-brother King Abdullah. The late king, a strong, shrewd and measured ruler, navigated the kingdom on a steady course in a turbulent neighborhood. He also made sure the succession would be smooth, swift and safe for the long term. Abdullah was also largely responsible for plunging oil prices by refusing to cut production. King Salman will have to stand up to heavy arm-twisting bythe US, Iran and Russia for ending this policy.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 12, 2015
Pakistani and Afghan Taliban high-ups vowed allegiance Sunday, Jan. 12 to the Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi – forging concord among key Islamist terror movement groups for defying the values that brought millions out for a mammoth rally of Western unity against terror that day. Taliban cemented the pact by beheading a Pakistani soldier held prisoner. Last week, Amedy Coulibaly, who murdered four Jews in a Paris market, also said he acted for ISIS. Abu Bakr has therefore extended his reach to South Asia after Europe and Arab lands.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 21, 2014
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and top Qatari envoys went through the motions of formalizing the Saudi-brokered reconciliation between them, when they met in Cairo Saturday, Dec. 20. Riyadh celebrated the meeting as the turning of a new page, and the Qatari envoy acknowledged Egypt’s preeminence in the Arab and Muslim worlds. debkafile: But the bone of contention over the emirate’s hosting of the Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who was packing his bags to travel to Tehran, remained unresolved. The Saudis demanded his removal from emirate soil.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 12, 2014
The Obama strategy has drawn criticism for investing too little to achieve a short, sharp campaign to eradicate ISIS. Regional governments have too few troops to spare.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 10, 2014
Shortly before President Barack Obama was to unveil his strategy for tackling ISIS in Iraq and Syria Wednesday, Sept. 10, US and Syrian officers held secret talks for coordinating their military efforts in Syria against the common foe, debkafile reveals exclusively. The Syrian officers, on the authority of President Bashar Assad, met on the quiet several times with American officers in the capital of one of the Gulf emirates – probably Muscat in Oman. The Syrian side of the US campaign is judged to be more complicated than the operation in Iraq.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 9, 2014
A “Western diplomat” reported Monday, Sept. 8, that “Israel has provided satellite imagery…in support of the US-led aerial campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq.” This information was “shared by Washington with Arab and Turkish allies after being “scrubbed of evidence of its Israeli origin.” debkafile: This tall tale is clearly part of a deep US game - to break up the Saudi-Egyptian-UAE bloc which backed Israel’s Gaza operation, and draw Arab allies into the Obama coalition for fighting the Islamic State, offering the bait of Israeli intelligence available only through Washington.