DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 26, 2012
Unconfirmed first reports from British, French and Turkish sources say British special forces crossed from Turkey into northern Syria Tuesday, May 26, advancing up to 10 kilometers inside the country. Those sources also report heavy fighting around the Republican Guards compound guarding Bashar Assad's palace on Mount Qaisoun overlooking Damascus. This two-pronged assault on the Assad regime, if confirmed, began at the end of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Israel. It challenges his repeated objections to foreign intervention.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 24, 2012
Al Qaeda infiltrators from Libya are spearheading much of this month’s anti-Israel violence from Sinai and the Gaza Strip - a dangerous development Israel, Hamas, Egypt and the US prefer to conceal. It appears to tie in with the arrival of al Qaeda’s ex-Iraq fighters in Syria as part of its leader's master plan. Deeply concerned to check the spillover from Libya into Egypt, Cairo has posted its elite counter-terrorist “999 unit” in El Arish, on Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip and along the northern sector of its frontier with Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 23, 2012
Syria Friday shot down the Turkish Super Phantom jet with the sophisticated self-propelled medium range anti-air Pantsur-1 missile recently supplied by Russia. Short of time to master the improved missile system, the Syrian crews would have called on their Russian instructors to help launch them. debkafile: Moscow and Damascus may have decided to stop the almost daily Turkish air force flights over the Syrian coast for spying on Russian arms deliveries through the Russian bases of Tartus and Latakia.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 21, 2012
Russian President Vladimir Putin started putting his plans for Russia to displace the US at key Middle East points at the Moscow nuclear talks and the G20 summit in Mexico where he enlisted China and Iran to defeat Washington’s plans. Starting out with a scheme of revenge for Libya, his horizon has since widened to blocking US President Barack Obama's Arab Revolt objectives and his policies for Syria and Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 19, 2012
debkafile postulates Syria’s division into spheres of influence as the big powers move in.
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 Exclusive Report June 17, 2012
Moscow is using the time up until Russian President Vladimir Putin faces US President Barack Obama across the G20 conference table in Los Cabos, Mexico Sunday, June 17 – or its corridors - to ship sophisticated anti-air, anti-ship arms to Syria able to prevent a no-fly zone being imposed. A fleet of Russian warships is also heading for Tartus. If the two presidents come to terms on Syria and Iran, the planned US and allied intervention in Syria may be delayed. If not - quickened.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 16, 2012
Amid the worsening violence in Syria, US official sources said Saturday, June 16, that US intervention was not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ and defined its format as “Libya lite.” Pentagon officials earlier reported a Russian contingent was on its way to Syria to guard the Russian base at Tartus. As the Syrian civil conflict mounted onto the plane of major power intervention, Maj. Gen. Robert Mood announced that the UN observer mission he heads had suspended activities and patrols.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 15, 2012
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 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 Exclusive Report June 1, 2012
Obama focuses on obtaining Vladmir Putin’s consent to deploying 5,000 largely Russian monitors in Syria in order to gain a partner also for his Iran nuclear diplomacy. HIzballah risks being cut off from its heavy weapons arsenal hidden in Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 31, 2012
US President Barack Obama, widely expected to pursue direct action against Syrian ruler Bashar following the Houla atrocity, is preoccupied with what he regards as the greater threat to the world: a potential grab for the huge Syrian stock of chemical and biological weapons by Al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations, to prevent which, debkafile reports, he has reached out to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a fresh plan for Syria: 5,000 international monitors, most Russian, to guard those stocks.
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 Exclusive Report May 18, 2012
US reservists are put on standby for transfer to the Middle East at 36 hours notice as the Obama administration gets set for a potential midsummer war if Iran stalls on a nuclear accord or fails to deliver on its commitments – or Israel goes to war on the Islamic Republic.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 11, 2012
The shocking impact of the twin explosions which killed 55 people and injured almost 400 in Damascus Thursday, May 10, galvanized Bashar Assad’s allies, starting with Iran, into frenetic activity. Within hours, Tehran had ordered its Lebanese proxy Hizballah to open up its arms stores and run quantities of weapons and military equipment across the border to the Syrian army. Iran then started organizing a security camera network for Damascus. Moscow judged the bombings a serious escalation in the conspiracy to topple Bashar Assad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 30, 2012
A year after the death of its iconic leader Osama bin Laden at the hands of US special forces, Al Qaeda is making an operational comeback, notably in North Africa and Syria. The suicide bombings hitting Damascus and Idlib in the last 24 hours were the work of Al Qaeda in Iraq – AQI, whose operatives have been pouring into Syria in the last two weeks, debkafile reports. Without US intervention, al Qaeda will be able to use Syria for attacking its neighbors too, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan.
Turkey and Saudis Chart Joint Syria Campaign - Possibly in Sync with Potential Israeli Strike on Iran
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2012
Saudi Arabia and Turkey agree to set up a joint command for coordinating preparations for a combined invasion of Syria and the creation of buffer zones protected by their air forces. Ankara is putting pressure on NATO to help defend Turkish borders against Iranian reprisal. Both partners plus France want American to jump in too.