753 articles tagged "Syria"
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<span class="dnw">DEBKA-Net-Weekly</span> Exclusive: Bankrolled by Tehran, the Syrian armed forces renovate, expand and upgrade their war arsenal
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 21, 2007
The Lebanon war and a fistful of Iranian petrodollars impel Syrian president Bashar Asad to haul his armed forces into the present. DEBKA-Net-Weekly 284 of Jan. 5, 207, revealed his latest acquisition: the sophisticated Russian S-300PMU2 FAVORIT air defense system. Two new mechanized divisions are under construction raising the total to 12. Five will face Israel on the Golan, joined by new elite units trained for cross-border incursions.
Read the artcle in full below.
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Syrian Armed Forces Revamped <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 15, 2007
To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click DEBKA-Net-Weekly.com?ref=001">HERE.
The Lebanon war and a fistful of Iranian petrodollars have impelled Syrian president Bashar Asad to haul his armed forces into the present. DEBKA-Net-Weekly 284 of Jan. 5, 207, revealed his latest acquisition: the sophisticated Russian S-300PMU2 FAVORIT air defense system, which is capable of downing Israel planes in Israeli air space and aircraft taking off from US Mediterranean carriers. Two new mechanized divisions are under construction raising the total to 12. Five will face Israel on the Golan, joined by new elite units trained for cross-border incursions.
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<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Assad carries arms shopping list to Moscow with $500,000 in Iranian cash<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 19, 2006
He has equipped Syrian divisions on the Golan front with Israel with anti-tank and anti-air rockets, has been promised sophisticated Russian Tor-M1 anti-air anti-missile missile systems and will ask Russia to upgrade his 4,500 Soviet-made tanks.
debkafile has the details in its Exclusive Military Report below.

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Assad Is in Moscow with Half-Billion Iranian Dollars to Upgrade His Army
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 19, 2006
Syrian president Bashar Asad arrived in Moscow Monday night, Dec. 18, with two items for his host, President Vladimir Putin: A shopping list for weapons and half a billion dollars put up by Iran - in cash if needed - to purchase Russian arms.
In recent months, Tehran has been dispensing colossal sums to its Middle East allies and pawns, mostly to stock up on war materiel and upgrade their military strength.
Damascus was advised in advance that certain surface systems on request would available. But the transaction would include sophisticated Tor-M1 systems, supplies of which began reaching Iran last month, together with thousands of AT-14 anti-tank and SA 5 Gammon anti-air missiles. Damascus also wants to commission Russian military industry to upgrade all 4,500 of its outdated Soviet-era T-62, T-72 and T-80 tanks.
Israel's head of research in AMAN-military intelligence, Brig-Gen Yossi Baidetz was referring to this huge Russian-Syrian arms deal bankrolled by Iran when he warned ministers Sunday Dec. 10, that Asad was preparing his army for a summer war against Israel.
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Syria Is Stirring Up Lebanese Civil Strife, Stoking Two Anti-Israel Warfronts
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 16, 2006
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Expectations of an impending full-scale Israeli ground operation in the Gaza Strip were sent up a notch this week by the worrying news military intelligence AMAN chiefs put before the cabinet on Oct. 15.
Maj.-Gen Amos Yadlin and head of AMAN's research division Brig.-Gen Yossi Baidatz reported deepening Syrian involvement in aggressive moves on three fronts: Damascus is pushing Iranian arms for Hizballah into Lebanon in blatant violation of Security Council resolution 1701 (as first revealed by debkafile on Oct. 4), the first Syrian military instructors have arrived in the Gaza Strip to impart Hizballah's combat tactics to Hamas and the Syrian army remains on a high state of preparedness.
These moves against Israel represent only half of Syrian president Bashar Asad's grand design; and the weapons streaming to Hizballah are a small part of the arms smuggled into Lebanon. The lion's share is destined for six pro-Syrian factions in Lebanon in preparation for the forcible overthrow of Fouad Siniora's anti-Syrian government in Beirut, should his adherents in Beirut, spearheaded by Hizballah and his Maronite Christian general Michel Aoun, fail to attain power by political machinations.
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Syrian Downing of Israeli drone Raises Specter of Syrian Scuds
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 29, 2006
The Lebanon war raging between Israel and HIzballah took an alarming detour Friday, July 28, when, according to debkafile's military sources, Syrian air defense batteries ambushed and shot down an Israeli spy drone flying on the Lebanese side of the border with Syria.
These drones have been used to "paint" the weapons convoys heading in from Syria, for the Israeli air force to hit them before they can reach their destinations and replenish Hizballah stockpiles.
This time, the Syrians knocked the drone out of the sky to allow a large consignment of rocket launchers and truckloads of rockets to cross into Lebanon undetected and safe from Israeli air attack. Israel's official spokesmen and its military held back from making a response, just as the Americans let Syria get away with its hostile interference in the Iraq war.

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Riyadh and Cairo Back Haddam`s Challenge to Assad
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 9, 2006
debkafile's intelligence and counter-terror sources report that Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal arrived in Damascus first thing Sunday morning Jan 8 with an royal order for President Bashar Assad to present himself without delay to King Abdullah in Jeddah. The Saudis were racing against time to put Assad on the carpet before the onset of the hajj later that day. From Jeddah, the Syrian president flew to Sharm el-Sheikh where he was severely rapped by Hosni Mubarak.
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Putin Pulls Assad's Chestnuts out of the Fire
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 26, 2005
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debkafile's sources close to the investigation report that Syrian president Bashar Assad has managed to hold back his strongman brother-in-law Gen. Assef Shawqat from interrogation at UN headquarters in Vienna as a suspect in the Hariri assassination. By Friday night, Nov. 26, the Syrian ruler had bowed to the UN investigator Detlev Mehlis` ultimatum to let the suspects be quizzed outside Syria. But debkafile discloses that he did so on his own legal terms and without the senior suspect. He also obtained from Mehlis a pledge that no arrest warrants would be issued against the remaining five. But above all, we reveal, he persuaded Russian president Valdimir Putin to underwrite Mehlis' pledge. DEBKA-Net-Weekly's intelligence sources reveal that the seven Syrian conditions were laid down at a secret meeting that took place in Barcelona on Nov. 18 between Mehlis and the Syrian foreign ministry's legal adviser Riad Daoudi. Our sources have obtained the text of those conditions.
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Syrian Bigwigs and Capital Flee under Implied Threat of Military Action
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 18, 2005
The threat of military action was embedded in the UN Security Council resolution. It was reinforced by US Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice when she spoke of "serious' consequences" - diplomatic parlance for military action - should Syria fail to cooperate with the final and conclusive part of UN investigator Dehlev Mehlis' inquiry into the murder of Lebanese leader Rafiq Hariri last February.
Faced with this torrent of menacing language, Bashar Assad's close associates have already decided that escape is the better part of valor. Influential Syrian VIPs appear to have read the UN resolution carefully last week and are absconding. debkafile's intelligence sources reveal large cash withdrawals from Syrian banks, currency conversions and transfers to banks outside the country.
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Both Bashar Assad & Mahmoud Abbas Are Teetering
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 23, 2005
The Syrian leadership has gathered itself in for the next shock after the UN Hariri investigation's findings drawn up by Detlev Mehlis implicated President Bashar Assad's close family circle in the assassination of Lebanese leader Rafiq Hariri last February. This Assad foursome is now locked in together in stifling proximity. Given the slightest hint that any formation of three is willing to sacrifice the fourth member to save themselves will tip the group over into a life-and-death struggle. That is the moment the Assad clan's enemies are watching and waiting for.
The situation of the Palestinian Authority's Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is no less shaky. Abbas called on the White House on Oct. 20 only to make the disturbing discovery that his refusal to crack down on the terrorists had cost him the US president's support for his leadership. Abu Mazen is therefore insisting on letting the Hamas participate in the January election as his main life belt. He is counting on the only political and military instrument left to him to force his opponents in the Fatah to keep their heads down.

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The UN investigator of the Hariri murder: Syria tried to mislead the investigation
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 21, 2005
Converging evidence points at both Lebanese and Syrian involvement in the assassination plot against former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri on February 14, 2005. This was the primary conclusion of UN investigator Detlev Mehlis whose interim report is to be submitted Friday to the UN Security Council and the Lebanese and Syrian governments. The full text was obtained by debkafile October 20 before general publication.
Other conclusions: The crime was carried out by a group with extensive organization and considerable resources and capabilities. It was prepared over several months. The timing and location of Rafiq Hariri's movements was monitored in detail. Given the pervasive presence of Syrian Military Intelligence in Lebanon, it would be difficult to envisage a scenario where this assassination plot could have been carried out without their knowledge.
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Moscow Arms Assad with a Top-Flight Surface Missile
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 10, 2005
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Two generals were in Moscow on the same day, September 26: the head of Israel's National Security Council Maj.-Gen (Res.) Giora Eiland and the Syrian chief of staff General Ali Habib. Both also called on the Russian chief of staff, Gen. Yuri Baluyevski. The Syrian general came out of his meeting with a brilliant contract for the sale of the advanced Iskander SS-26 surface missile. The Israeli general ran into a blank wall when he tried to persuade the Russian to withhold the missile from the Assad regime. Last January, when the deal was first broached, the Bush administration stepped in and obtained a promise from president Vladimir Putin to call off the sale, as did Israel's Ariel Sharon during the Russian president's visit in May.
Putin has broken those pledges.
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Will Assad Save Himself by Going the Way of Qaddafi?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 4, 2005
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How to save Syrian president Bashar Assad and his regime from toppling - or rather how to save him from himself? This was the main topic exercising Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and Saudi King Abdullah when they put their heads together in Riyadh Monday Oct. 3. They needed to talk urgently because the UN investigator of the Hariri assassination Detlev Mehlis reported to the UN secretary general Kofi Annan and the Security Council that he has finished his business in Damascus and would not be returning.
The clincher was obtained, according to debkafile's intelligence sources, in a Lebanese security forces swoop on the MTC Touch mobile phone company in Beirut Sept. 27. The officers copied data from eight telephone lines and took several employes away for questioning.
On September 23, DEBKA-Net-Weekly revealed:
The Saudi monarch is bidding for President George W. Bush to give the Syrian president another chance. He is offering a Saudi-Egyptian guarantee for Assad to live up to any obligations he may be persuaded to undertake.
ebanese security forces swoop on the MTC Touch mobile phone company in Beirut.
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Impatient for Assad to Go, Washington Made Much of Routine Syrian Scud Test
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 4, 2005
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Last week, Syrian test-fired one elderly Scud B (200km range) and two Scud D (700km range) missiles, capable of delivering air-burst chemical weapons. Syria's missiles are routinely tested every summer. This time, Damascus took particular care to aim the missiles southwest, so as not to mistakenly hit US forces operating in the al Qaim province on the Iraqi side of its border. The Scud B broke up and shed debris over Turkey. All the same, The New York Times and the US State Department, confirming the Israeli report of the test, made a big fuss. debkafile's military and Middle East sources report that a strong sense of trouble brewing pervades ruling circles in Damascus, as the Syrian Baath prepares for its 10th convention Monday, June 6, a gathering of major moment for the stability and future of the Assad regime. As the date approaches a stack of problems is piling up on the Syrian ruler, the price of keeping a clandestine finger in the Lebanon pie -even after the exit of his troops and of sticking to his ties with the Iraqi Baath.

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Apres Lebanon Assad Launches His Own Regime Change
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 11, 2005
Syrian president Bashar Assad is trying to turn his back on the fiasco of his exit from Lebanon and shore up his regime by a secret crash reform program - although one that is careful not to put the presidency on the block. Stage one took place in total hush Saturday, April 9. DEBKA-Net-Weekly's exclusive Middle East sources report that Assad wants his epic political and military revolution to be over and done in three months. He proposes to sever the reciprocal lifeline between army and party and shut down the movement's pan-Arab center, so withdrawing the mother party's support from the many Baath branches around the Arab world, especially in Lebanon and Jordan. He even seeks to rewrite the national constitution and introduce an open market economy. This is a very tall order as well as a dangerous gamble.
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Assad Secretly Deploys Joint Iranian-Syrian Units in Lebanon
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 5, 2005
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To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click HERE. Syrian ruler Bashar Assad gave nothing away on Lebanon in his unscheduled address to parliament in Damascus Saturday, March 5. Repeatedly contradicting himself, he said: "We will not stay one day if Lebanese consensus asks us to leave". He then added: but we cannot desert the Lebanese president to whom we have a commitment. Assad's decision to redeploy Syrian troops eastward to the Beqaa Valley up to Syrian border sidestepped the issue. The Syrian ruler did not promise to pull a single Syrian troop or secret agent out of Lebanon. He also declared for good measure that Syria`s role in the country would not end with a military withdrawal (which he did not promise.) Sunday, February 20, Iranian military transports put down in Damascus military airport. They were the tail end of the biggest military airlift Iran has launched in the Middle East to date. Its objective was to set up shared Iranian-Syrian safeguards against attacks on the Islamic Republic's nuclear installations and/or Syrian strategic targets.

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Lebanon Is on the Brink. Syria Begins Arming its Supporters
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 19, 2005
Monday, February 21, presidents George W. Bush and Jacques Chirac meet in Paris. With Lebanon at the forefront of their agenda, they will have to look hard at some tough questions. How to handle the situation if Assad orders his Syrian troops in Lebanon to march on Beirut in defense of his puppet government? And worse still, what if the full weight of the Syrian army is sent across the border to squash the uprising? Will the two Western leaders dispatch a joint US-French force to repulse the Syrian onslaught? To force the hands of the American and French presidents, the leaders of the Lebanese uprising are preparing a spectacular event to coincide with their summit. One proposal is for a hundreds of thousands of protesters to march through Beirut's streets and seize the parliament building.

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In War Crisis, Hizballah, Palestinians, Poised to Line up behind Pro-Syrian Lebanese Government
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 15, 2005
(See earlier Exclusive Analysis:Syrian Military Intelligence Eliminates Hariri and Reform Hopes for Lebanon)
Just hours after former prime minister Rafiq Hariri was murdered in a massive car bomb explosion outside the five-star Saint Georges Hotel on Beirut's seafront Monday, February 14, enraged Lebanese Muslim, Christian, Druse opposition leaders declared the pro-Syrian Karame government illegal, demanded its resignation and pointed the finger of blame at Damascus. First riots erupted in Beirut and Hariri's home town of Sidon. French president Jacques Chirac, a close friend of the dead Lebanese politician, bluntly accused Syria and its Lebanese stooges of orchestrating his assassination and demanded an immediate international probe. As the opposition begins to fight back for the brutal slaying, the whiff of war hangs over the country that was wracked for 15 years by civil bloodshed up until 1991.
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Syrian Military Intelligence Eliminates Hariri and Reform Hopes for Lebanon
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 14, 2005
Monday, February 14, Rafiq Hariri, five times Lebanese prime minister, multibillionaire, builder of a country devastated by 15 years of civil war, was assassinated by a huge car bomb that ravaged the Lebanese capital's seafront. Two ministers in his party and 6 of his bodyguards, including its chief Yahya Al Arb, were among the dead. The attack is described as the most brutal since the civil conflict ended in 1991. Hariri's assassination is one up for all the violent forces at work in the Middle East, for Assad as sponsor of terrorism and for the pro-Syrian government in Beirut. It is bound to have a negative effect on the Sharon-Abbas reconciliation strategy and their hopes with American encouragement of bringing Palestinian terrorist groups round to reducing their attacks, much less a truce.
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Through Arms to Syria, Putin Challenges US Middle East Game Rules
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 12, 2005
Disturbing reports were coming out of the Russian capital Wednesday, January 12, about Russian president Vladimir Putin's plan to accede to Syria's request for advanced weaponry during president Bashar Assad's visit to Moscow on January 24. debkafile's US and Israeli security sources quickly contradicted reports that 18 Iskander-M or SS-X-26 surface-to-surface missiles were on the table. The items for sale, they revealed, are advanced SA-10 air defense systems of the type that protects Moscow and shoulder-held SA-18 anti-air missiles, whose transfer to the Hizballah and/or Iraqi guerrillas would move at least two sets of goal posts in the Middle East balance of strength. The SA-10 is an effective defense against Israeli warplanes and missiles, including cruise missiles. Its presence in Syria would therefore knock a serious hole in Israel's deterrent ability against Assad and the Hizballah.
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753 articles tagged "Syria" :









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