DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 26, 2015
China has jumped aboard the Russia-Iranian military alliance in Syria by sending the aircraft carrier Liaoning-CV-16 to Tartus, to await the arrival of a squadron of its J-15 Flying Shark fighters. As Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama smiled and sat down in the White House to discuss improving relations, Beijing showed muscle - not just in the South China Sea but in the Mediterranean too, turning the Middle East strategic situation on its head.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 10, 2015
Al Qaeda’s Ayman Al-Zawahri, after three years’ silence, has offered to cooperate with ISIS, stepping in as fundamentalist voices in Tehran call for talks with the Islamic State. Who will get there first?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 3, 2015
Jordan’s Abdullah has built a new 70,000-strong Hashemite Army with US arms and Saudi funding. It is now poised for battle in eastern Syria to take on ISIS at Deir Ez-Zur.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 3, 2015
Iranian Gen. Soleimani’s makeshift forces are taking a beating on all fronts – Syria, Iraq and Yemen – outsmarted and outgunned by ISIS. To cover up his failures he has unleashed a vicious attack on Washington.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 27, 2015
While preparing for the first time to send Russian military forces to Syria to fight ISIS, Putin doesn’t forget the energy card. He offers Netanyahu a deal: Russian military protection for Israel’s Mediterranean gas fields in return for a stake in pipeline construction.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 23, 2015
The four rockets fired from Syria into Israel’s Galilee and Golan Thursday, Aug. 20 were Iran’s way of testing the Israel’s government’s will for military action. Israel’s rhetoric and artillery, missile and aerial strikes Thursday night and Friday left everyone confused, by blaming Iran, Al Qods, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and then attacking Syrian military targets in the Quneitra district. But the next day, Saturday, Tehran unveiled its new Fateh-313 missile, showing the Israeli reaction to the rockets to have fallen short of deterring the continued pursuit of its policies.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 18, 2015
Six Russian MiG-31 Foxhound interceptor aircraft from Moscow landed Tuesday, Aug. 18, at the Mezze Airbase in Damascus international airport, debkafile discloses. They were followed shortly after by giant An-124 Condor transports carrying 1,000 Kornet-9M133 third-generation anti-tank guided missiles. This airlift to Damascus betokens Moscow’s continued support for the Syrian ruler against peace plans currently afloat which all entail his removal, and is a move to block US-Turkish plans for a no-fly zone over Syria or any other direct intervention.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 15, 2015
In its first arms sale to an Arab country, revealed here by debkafile, Israel has sold Jordan 12 advanced unmanned aerial vehicles of the Heron TP and Skylark types. They are urgently needed by the Jordanian Royal Air Force to beef up its cross-border counter-terrorism campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Like other joint US-Israeli-Jordanian operations ongoing against the Islamic State, the Herons and Skylarks are almost certainly being operated by officers at the US Central Command Forward-Jordan war room north of Amman. Israel earlier donated 16 Cobras to Jordan’s air force.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 13, 2015
A year into the US-led coalition war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria, finds the jihadis holding onto most of the territorial gains against an almost-stalled offensive, while keeping their manpower stocks replenished with volunteers and expanding their terror fronts.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 30, 2015
Erdogan puzzles everyone by ditching his clandestine ties with ISIS to go on the offensive against the group, even at the certain risk of serious retribution of terror that could ruin Turkey’s $30bn tourist trade.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 25, 2015
After hree rounds of Turkish bombing attacks on the Islamic State in northern Syria, Ankara and Washington agreed Saturday, July 25, to name the security zone covered by a “partial no fly zone” they had declared in northern Syria the “Islamic State free zone.” This name represents a US-Turkish concession to Iran of immunity for its allies, Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hizballah, in order to gain Tehran’s cooperation in the campaign against ISIS. This deal advances Syrian-Hizballah hold on northern Syria against Islamist assaults, but drops the Kurds by the wayside.
Jordan launches war on ISIS in Iraq, Turkish warplanes hit ISIS in Syria. US, Israel involved in both ops
DEBKAfile Special Report July 24, 2015
The Middle East woke up Friday, July 24, to two new, fully-fledged wars launched by Jordan and Turkey against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as its forces advanced on their borders. The US and Israel are involved in both campaigns. Jordanian armored, commando and air forces are already operating deep inside Iraq, aided by Cobra helicopters provided by Israel, while Friday morning, Turkey conducted its first cross-border air strike against ISIS targets in Syria. Both governments also carried mass arrests of suspected Islamist terrorists.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 20, 2015
Israeli leaders’ main business with visiting US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter when they meet Monday, July 20, is their concern about Tehran’s possible endgame in fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon will ask Carter if the US has any control over the Iranian command centers, and is in a position to stop Tehran harnessing Hizballah and Syrian troops to help its Shiite militias push ISIS onto the Golan and the Jordanian borders, so as to remove the threat to Tehran’s allies in Damascus and Baghdad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 16, 2015
Obama saw the Arab world engulfed in ghastly bloody wars in the foreseeable future and was confirmed in his determination to make Iran America’s top strategic ally in the Middle East. Arab rulers are still reeling from the blow and finding it hard to adapt to their new circumstances.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 9, 2015
ISIS is now fighting to capture the big Iraqi refinery town of Baiji from a mixed force of Iraqi army and Shiite troops under Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers. The US admits that its warplanes return from Iraq with most of their ordnance unused.
Turkey and Jordan said preparing buffer zones inside Syria. Israeli air support mooted. Putin issues warning
DEBKAfile Special Report June 30, 2015
Turkish and Jordanian armies were reported on June 30 to be getting ready to cross into Syria and set up security buffer zones – to fight ISIS, oppose the Assad regime and stem the never-ending flow of refugees. It is not clear if they are coordinated. Turkey has prepared 18,000 troops for the operation. Its air force is to impose a no-fly zone against Syrian flights. The Jordanian army is also on the ready to go in and said to be seeking Israel’s air force participation for air cover and a parallel no-fly zone in the south.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 26, 2015
Friday, June 26, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) demonstrated the broad scope of its brutal reach by perpetrating terrorist attacks on three continents – Europe, Africa and Asia, in one day, the second Friday of the Muslim festival of Ramadan. The deadliest occurred at two hotel beaches in the popular Tunisian resort town of Sousse, where gunmen killed at least 39 holidaymakers, many of them foreign tourists - mostly British and German. One gunman was killed. It followed the atrocity at a US-owned French gas factory near Grenoble.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 25, 2015
The Saudi and Jordanian kings are moving forward on a scheme to bring the Sunnis of Iraqi Anbar and southern Syria under the Jordanian Crown and build an anti-ISIS barrier for Saudi Arabia.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 18, 2015
Kurdish forces with US aerial backing pulled of an epic victory against ISIS, capturing Tel Abyad a town close which is close enough to the ISIS Syrian “capital” of Raqqa to lay it to siege.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 11, 2015
Israel has a historic commitment to its Druze citizens and so the dangers besetting more than half a million of their distressed Syrian brethren on Jabal Druze, 88 km from its border, and 38 km from Jordan, confronts the Netanyahu government with a grave dilemma. Conceding to Israeli Druze leaders’ demand to send them arms would draw Israel out of its long abstention from direct involvement in the Syrian conflict. But refusing many thousands of Druze refugees admission, if put to flight by Islamists, is not an option, which may not be precluded anyway by sending weapons.