DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2010
Syria has not actually handed Scud missiles, A or SS-1B, to the Hizballah in Lebanon - only positioned them on the border ready for transit - and taught two Hizballah brigades how to use them, debkafile's military sources report, refuting the flurry of press reports that these ground missiles are already in Lebanon.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 12, 2010
In a cool message to Washington through Paris, Syria insists its ties with Iran are strategic and dictated by the need for "resistance" to Israel. Heavy Syrian missiles supplies will continue to cross the border to Hizballah, except for the sophisticated Russia anti-air Gecko - for now.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 5, 2010
The Obama administration does not propose to let Bashar Assad go scot free for publicly poking fun at America as he stood side by side with the Iranian president. Syrian ambassador Imad Moustapha was left guessing about the shape of the punishment to come.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 3, 2010
Syria has defied
DEBKAfile Special Report February 28, 2010
A North Korean shipment of 45 tons of yellowcake, enough for several nuclear bombs, was on its way to the nuclear plant under construction in northern
DEBKAfile Special Report February 27, 2010
The Iranian president remarked "the Zionist regime" would soon disappear.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2010
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's talks with Syrian president Bashar Assad in
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 12, 2010
Saudi king Abdullah and Syrian president Bashar Assad have no qualms about sending al Qaeda and ex-Baathist gangs out of their Syrian havens to slaughter Shiite pilgrims in Iraq in their determination to prevent prime minister Nouri al-Maliki's election in March.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 5, 2010
debkafile Iranian and military sources report the new war threats from
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 29, 2009
debkafile wonders if a new peace initiative - or two, are in the works between Paris, Damascus, Cairo and Jerusalem, as Washington looks on. This month, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu signaled Presidents Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy that he is ready to take a second look at reviving the Ankara-brokered negotiating channel with Damascus, notwithstanding Turkish prime minister Tayyep Recep Erdogan's offensive attitude toward Israel and the close ties he is building with radical Iran.
Two Jerusalem envoys will be heading out next week to test the ground.
Sunday, Nov. 22, President Shimon Peres is scheduled to sit down with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in Cairo and toss around ideas for changing Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud's mind about resigning and persuading him to drop his precondition for going back to the negotiating table: a halt in settlement and Jerusalem construction.
Trade and industry minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer, a former defense chief, meets Turkish defense minister Vecdi Gonul in Ankara Tuesday.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 8, 2009
Syria insists that the explosion that killed up to 20 people and injured 100 on a bus full of Iranian pilgrims in the heart of Damascus Thursday, Dec. 3, was not an act of terror only a "serious accident" in which a bursting tire killed 3 people. The Iranian news agency, in contrast, described the incident as a terrorist attack which claimed 12 lives.
The pictures spirited out of Damascus show bus had been wrecked and burnt in a manner that could only have been caused by a large bomb.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 5, 2009
Syrian president Bashar Assad like the leopard has not changed his spots. After Washington opened the door wide to reconciliation, lavishing goodwill gestures and a procession of emissaries over several months, Assad has abruptly slammed it shut.
Wednesday, Aug. 12, he announced he was off to Tehran next week to congratulate his good friend Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his reelection as president and further cement their ties.
He left behind him a trail of dashed hopes in Washington. The Obama administration had made a serious bid to detach Assad from his strategic bonds with Iran and make him the keystone for the president's comprehensive Middle East program.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 16, 2009
The new IAEA report on Iran's formerly secret uranium enrichment site at Fordo near Qom also includes a section on Syria and a demand to inspect suspicious sites there too. The inspectors clearly suspect both Tehran and Damascus of concealing from the UN nuclear watchdog secret facilities related to nuclear weapons production.
Tuesday, Nov. 17, an IAEA delegation will challenge Damascus' refusal to open three suspect sites to inspection.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 2, 2009
Damascus has turned aside a demand from Baghdad to extradite two Iraqi Baathist leaders (Saddam Hussein's party) believed to have orchestrated from their base in eastern Syria the deadly coordinated bombing attacks which rocked the Iraqi capital on Aug. 19, killing 100 people and leaving more than 1,000 injured. This is reported by debkafile's intelligence and counter-terror sources.
This row is highly relevant to the Obama administration's ambition to improve relations with Damascus.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 23, 2009
The Syrian ruler Bashar Assad has publicly rejected Barack Obama's overtures for a Washington-Damascus detente - which was supposed to hinge on detaching Syria from Iran - and blocked the path to peace talks with Israel. Next week, Assad flies to Tehran, announcing his purpose is to strengthen ties between the two countries.
Follow the sequence of events leading to this breakdown of Obama's Middle East program in debkafile Exclusive Report below.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 21, 2009
Japanese intelligence has learned that in late May, Iran, Syria and North Korea secretly test-launched in southern Syria a new short-range ballistic missile developed jointly by Pyongyang, Tehran and Damascus as a substitute for the outdated Scuds still in use in their armed forces, debkafile's military sources report.
After two weeks' preparation, two of the new projectiles had their first trial-launch - and failed with disastrous results.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 12, 2009
In less than a month after US president Barack Obama renewed sanctions against Syria over the Assad regime's involvement in terrorism. Another of his envoys, George Mitchell, is on his way to Damascus to explore the chances of renewed Syrian-Israeli peace talks. A US military delegation will discuss the expanded flow of terrorists from Syria into Iraq.
None of this, any more than the UN nuclear agency's discovery of "man-made uranium particles" near Damascus, has slowed the American dash to thaw relations with Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 5, 2009
Monday, March 30, the international court prosecuting the four-year old assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri asked Lebanon to transfer its authority in the case, signaling the start of legal proceedings. Four jailed Lebanese generals will be requested next to testify on the ties with Syrian conspirators.
debkafile's intelligence sources disclose that two weeks before the request was received in Beirut, three Syrian generals suspected of this role in the murder disappeared from their homes.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 4, 2009
Washington and Jerusalem are bracing for a flareup on the Syrian and Lebanese borders with Israel as the international tribunal for prosecuting the Rafiq Hariri assassins prepares to start sittings next Sunday, March 1. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has engineered a delay in full court hearings by insisting on tight security measures being put in place. But Syrian president Bashar Assad will have to accept the failure of his best efforts to stymie the tribunal or persuade the Barack Obama administration to help remove this cloud hovering over his regime.
debkafile's military sources report that Israel's armed forces, the four Syrian divisions arrayed along Lebanese and Israeli borders, the Lebanese army, the United Nations peace force and Hizballah are all in a high state of suspense for trouble.
On the surface, hectic US diplomatic activity presages a thaw in relations with Damascus. But when it comes down to brass tacks, Barack Obama is not letting the Syrian president off the hook on longstanding bones of contention.