547 articles tagged "Syria"
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Obama and Erdogan let Syria off the hook
Obama dodges action against Syria by turning to Turkish leader
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 26, 2011

US President Barack Obama continues to avoid direct action against Bashar Assad's increasingly savage crackdown on dissidents by consolidating his partnership with Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After talking on the phone early Tuesday April 26, they voiced "deep concern over the unacceptable use of violence" in Syria – but no condemnation of the Syrian ruler or his tank charge against civilians. Assad has thus won another couple of days at least to finish off the brutal purge of his opponents.

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At least 8 Syrian tanks invade Daraa
Syrian deaths soar as tanks, snipers, commandos mow down civilians
DEBKAfile Special Report April 25, 2011

Bashar Assad has launched all-out war on his people. Tanks firing artillery, infantry units, commandoes and snipers were deployed for the first time in Syrian cities at daybreak Monday, April 25 for the most brutal assault on any anti-government protesters in the four-month Arab uprising. Hundreds are estimated to have been massacred and thousands injured and left to die in the streets. Syria hopes to conceal the scale of the carnage in Daraa by shutting its borders with Jordan.

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Banias protesters hoist banner with bullet holes
Syrian snipers kill 15 mourners at protesters' funerals Saturday
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 23, 2011

Security forces and demonstrators continued to clash Saturday, April 23 in Damascus, Hama, Daraa and nearby Izraa after Friday's bloodbath left more than 100 dead and hundreds injured. Syrian snipers shot dead at least 15 mourners, injured dozens, at the funerals. Two Syrian lawmakers resigned their seats in protest at security police brutality against civilians. Damascus rejected President Barack Obama's charge of Iranian help to repress citizens.  France warned regime leaders they could face international prosecution.

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Homs - most dangerous epicenter of anti-Assad protest
Assad's crackdown protest threatens sectarian war
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2011

President Bashar Assad, while abrogating Syria's 48-year old emergency laws Tuesday, April 19, immediately replaced them with new draconian measures banning any public protest against his regime and permitting midnight arrests. His bloody showdown with widening circles of protesters is in its final act, debkafile's Middle East sources report. It now threatens to explode into a sectarian war. Assad has asked neighboring Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq to seal their borders with Syria against arms smuggling and a refugee exodus.

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Long lines of trucks for Syria wait at Lebanese border
Assad's own smuggling network commandeered for arming his opposition
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 17, 2011

Syrian troops were fanned out along the country's borders Sunday, April 17 to choke off the smuggling of arms, funds and foreign agents to the opposition, whose uprising has spread to every corner of the country. More than 5,000 supply trucks are backed up on the Lebanese, Jordanian and Iraqi borders, starving the Syrian economy of essentials. Damascus suspects Saudi Arabia of commandeering the smuggling ring which armed Hizballah and Hamas for arming the Syrian opposition.

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Asif Ali Zardari and Abdullah Gul
Ankara Tries Its Luck with Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, Syria
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2011

The uprising against the Assad regime in Syria finally knocked over the Turkish-Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah axis. Erdogan's vision of Turkey as the all-purpose super-mediator vanished into the blue yonder. He is now trying to climb back on the horse through the Muslim Brotherhood chapters of Egypt and Syria.

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Bashar Assad
Assad Regime Runs out of Options for Suppressing Unrest
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2011

Assad looks for scapegoat for his troubles after his fights against the burgeoning uprising against him reaches a stalemate. Tehran found a ready ear in pinning the blame on Saudi Arabia.

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Syrian TV: An American is behind anti-Assad uprising. He will soon be paraded
DEBKAfile Special Report April 14, 2011

In an unexpected turn in the month-long popular revolt against Bashar Assad's rule, Syrian TV alleged Thursday night, April 14 that the man behind the uprisings is an American whom they promised to parade soon. No more information was offered about the man's identity or how or when he was apprehended. debkafile: This is yet another sign of the depth of the authorities' desperation after failing by the most brutal methods to suppress the anti-Assad marches. 

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Big commecial center of Aleppo marches against Assad
Panicked Syrian officials evacuate families
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2011

Damascus was alive with rumors Thursday, April 14 that President Bashar Assad and his family were preparing to flee to Saudi Arabia. They were, sparked by the discovery that several high-ranking Syrian officials and army officers were evacuating their families to Persian Gulf emirates. US officials also disclosed Iran was secretly helping Assad crack down on his own people. Syrian authorities and opposition are bracing for their next test of strength Friday, April 15, amid signs of panic in Assad regime.

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Anti-Assad protest turns violent
More than 50 killed as protests spread to 25 Syrian towns
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2011

The pro-democracy, anti-Assad days of rage spread dramatically across Syria Friday, April 8, seriously shaking Bashar Assad's 11-year old grip on power for the first time since the movement began three weeks ago. At least 50 people were killed – 30 demonstrators and 20 security officers - and hundreds injured - many of them in the southern town of Daraa, the epicenter of the opposition movement. In some places Syrian officers disguised as protesters opened fire from inside the crowds.

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His minority Allawites challenged by Sunni majority
To survive, Assad must stop Sunni unrest infecting army
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 26, 2011

The Syrian ruler faces an unexpected Sunni revolt against his minority Allawite regime which is spreading fast and cannot be suppressed without using his Sunni-dominated military. Will Assad call on Tehran for help? Or Hizballah? Or the pro-Iranian radical Palestinian organizations? Or focus on saving Damascus? Those are the dilemmas facing him this week unless he stages a diversion by heating up the border with Israel. 

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Protesters call on Assad to go
Assad blockades disaffected Syrian areas
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 21, 2011

In an effort to contain spreading popular disorders against his regime, Syrian President Bashar Assad Monday, March 21, sent the 4th Armored Division commanded by his younger brother Maher Assad to suppress the three-day uprising in Darra (Deraa). The troops have also severed the South from Damascus and Jabal ad-Duruz where a demonstration is planned for March 26.
The White House condemned Syrian violence after 20 demonstrators were killed, 300 injured, by tear gas and live ammunition fire.

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IDF shows Iranian arms bound for Gaza
Hamas wins Cairo's recognition
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 19, 2011

Israeli living near Gaza woke up Saturday, March 19, to the most massive mortar attack in years – 50 rounds fired in 15 minutes. Two civilians were injured and substantial damage caused to property. Hamas has unusually claimed responsibility, emboldened by the support it has won from a new ally, Egypt, which is also forging new ties with Syria - and the Netanyahu government's disregard of the changing winds blowing in from Egypt including Cairo's de facto recognition of Hamas rule in Gaza.

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Entry of Saudi Forces Fires up Middle East Sunni-Shiite Discord
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 18, 2011

By stepping into Bahrain, the Saudis took the calculated risk of accelerating Sunni-Shiite discord across the region. Because of the challenge to its religious supremacy from Iraq, Tehran is re-thinking the wisdom of its decision to hijack the Arab uprisings.

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Honor guard on Iranian waship at Latakia for Iranian, Syrian Navy chiefs
Iran to build permanent naval base in Syria
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 1, 2011

Just two days after two Iranian warships reached the Syrian port of Latakia via the Suez Canal, an Iranian-Syrian naval cooperation accord was signed Friday, Feb. 25  providing for Iran to build its first Mediterranean naval base at the Syrian port, debkafile's sources reveal. It will include a large Iranian Revolutionary Guards weapons depot, anchorage for large warships and submarines and logistical infrastructure for incoming Iranian troops. The Syrian Navy chief said the move would "cripple Israel."

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A Grand Plan to Mend Fences and Save Syria from Its Opposition
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 18, 2011

The Obama administration prepares to approach Track II of its Syrian dialogue led by ex-President Jimmy Carter and a flock of senior Syrian figures. Their first task is to shore Bashar Assad up against his own opposition which is gearing up for street protests. Opponents in Washington warn them that Assad has fooled US diplomats countless times and will do so again.

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Special Lebanon Tribunal jumps the gun on Hizballah
Coming ME flashpoint: Hizballah faces terror charges at Hariri tribunal
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 7, 2011

The UN Special Lebanon Tribunal was asked to define crimes of terrorism, conspiracy and premeditated murder at its first hearing in the Netherlands Monday, Feb. 7. Its responses will for the first time define terror as an international crime. debkafile's report that within days, pretrial Judge Daniel Fransen is to publish indictments in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minster Rafiq Hariri. The judges have therefore jumped the gun on Hizballah.  A showdown looms large in Lebanon too.

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The heavy water plant at Arak - for the plutonium track to a bomb
Iran's short cuts to an N-bomb before 2015
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 9, 2011

The Mossad ex-chief Meir Dagan's estimated timeline of 2015 for Iran to attain a nuclear bomb may well be superseded if Tehran takes advantage of available shorts cuts, debkafile's intelligence sources report. Iran is likely to have hidden still undiscovered uranium enrichment facilities and research labs. It could use allied facilities like those of North Korea to reach its target, or again outsource nuclear production like the North Korean plutonium plant in Syria which Israel destroyed in 2007.

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Left in the lurch by Syria, Nasrallah eats crow
Hizballah shops for British legal talent, caves in on UN tribunal
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 17, 2010

In his speech Thursday, Dec. 16, Hassan Nasrallah sounded like his usual pugnacious self, damning America and forecasting an Israeli defeat in the next war. He even staged a dramatic backdrop of  "Israeli spy equipment" dismantled on two Lebanese peaks that very day. But, according to debkafile's sources, it was all a show to conceal his surrender to the UN tribunal investigating the 2005 murder and his instruction to high-ranking Hizballah suspects to turn themselves in.

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M-600 surface missile - now guided
Syrian, Hizballah's guided missiles defy Israel's aerial supremacy
DEBKAfile Special Report November 22, 2010

Israeli Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin warned the Israel cabinet Sunday, Nov. 21:  "Tel Aviv will be a front line in the next conflict."  debkafile's military sources report he was referring to the thousands of missiles with enhanced ranges of 300 kilometers Syria and Hizballah have received from Iran and which Iranian engineers are outfitting with guidance systems to challenge Israel's aerial capabilities and missile defenses. Syria's chemical warheads are now fully guided.

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