546 articles tagged "Syria"
Bashar Assad
Assad Senses Success. The Rebels Start Thinking about Reconciliation
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 11, 2013

Since the US pulled its fleet away from Syrian shores and the rebels’ arms supplies began drying up, Turkey and Israel assumed defensive postures vis a vis Syria, while the rebels began thinking about reconciliation with Bashar Assad.

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Syrian chemical weapons site
Israel: State of Syrian chemical weapons could change in a moment
DEBKAfile Special Report January 8, 2013

“Syria’s chemical weapons are under control for now, but no one can tell what the situation will be five minutes from now,” a senior Israeli defense official told debkafile Tuesday, Jan.8. “The situation is dangerously fluid because there is no certainty about who is in control at any moment.” In late November, Israel sent the US satellite imagery showing a secret Syrian unit mixing sarin and filling 500-pound bombs for airplanes. debkafile: Those bombs are still active and ready for use at two hours' notice.

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Bashar Assad is upbeat after 60,000 Syrian deaths
Bolstered by 16 Russian warships, Assad nixes dialogue with “Western puppets”
DEBKAfile Special Report January 6, 2013

With a buildup of 16 Russian warships carrying thousands of marines on the Syrian coast “to deter the West from deploying ground forces in Syria” - and remain until Easter,  Syrian Bashar Assad could afford to brazen it out Sunday, Jan. 6,  in his first public speech in seven months. Syria no longer takes dictation from anyone, he said. Citizens must defend their country against “a war fought by a handful of Syrians and many foreigners.” He rejected dialogue with the opposition as “puppets fabricated by the West.”

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Is Syria the World’s Killing Field for Al Qaeda?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 4, 2013

The evidence is piling up that the US, Russia, the European Union and even China are luring al Qaeda and affiliated jihadists to Syria to vent their trouble-making capabilities on its killing fields in the hope that they will not return.

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Early Signs of the Chemical Weapons’ Presence in the Syrian Conflict
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 4, 2013

The early emergence of Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities confused the Americans, produces US warnings and Israeli threats. Turkey soon applied to NATO for Patriot missiles.

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Syria Notches up Chemical War Preparations in Face of US Warnings
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 4, 2013

Obama again warns Assad not to use chemical weapons, but instead the Syria ruler starts moving them north and getting them ready for operations. US Congressman Mike Rogers says they are in condition use at a moment's notice.

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Jordan Is Prime Target, Followed by Israel and Turkey
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 4, 2013

Syria launches Scuds against the rebels as they near the Al Safira chemical weapons depot. Lavrov asserts that the weapons are under control – for now. Netanyahu goes to Amman for talks with King Abdullah.

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A Conspiracy of Silence
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 4, 2013

The US, Russia and Israel fail to prevent Assad depositing chemical weapons in Hizballah’s Lebanese strongholds. Not enough is being done to keep them out of al Qaeda hands either.

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Chemical weapons store
Israel backs Russia’s avowal that Syrian chemical arms are secure “for now”
DEBKAfile Special Report December 23, 2012

“At the moment, [Syria’s] chemical weapons are under control,” said senior Israeli defense official Amos Gilad Sunday, Dec. 23, echoing the statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Saturday that Syrian chemical weapons “are under control for the time being.” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu then predicted early far-reaching changes in the Syrian regime with effect on "the sensitive weaponry present there.” debkafile: A foreign force commandeered the chemical stocks at al Safira after forcing the Syrian army and rebels to hold their fire.

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Russian Northern Fleet
Russian warships sail for Syria, large anti-submarine ship for waters near Iran
DEBKAfile Special Report December 18, 2012

Russian warships set out Tuesday, Dec. 18, for two Middle East flashpoint destinations: Two assault ships, a tanker and an escort vessel sailed from the Baltic to Syria – possibly to evacuate Russian citizens; and Russia’s largest anti-submarine vessel headed for the Gulfs of Aden and Oman close to the Persian Gulf and Iran. debkafile: Russia’s military steps seem to be actuated by anticipation of the international crisis arising from the introduction of chemical warfare to the Syrian war – either by Assad’s army or insurgents.

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Obama Freezes in Face of Russian Cruise Missiles for Syria and North Korean Unha-3
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 14, 2012

Moscow has answered the US Patriots in Turkey with the top-line Eskandar missiles for Syria for which the West has no answer. This compounded the bad news coming from Pyongyang of North Korea’s first successful long-range three-stage missile test. To neither does Obama seem to have an answer.

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Mikhail Bogdanov
Moscow Weight Russian Military Enclaves in Post-Assad Syria
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 14, 2012

Moscow is looking ahead to the post-Assad era and planning to set up permanent military enclaves at Damascus and Aleppo airports.

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Joint British-French Albanian Lion Exercise
Paris: NATO-Arab Syria intervention imminent
DEBKAfile Special Report December 7, 2012

Sources close to the French Defense Ministry reported Friday, Dec. 7, that a Western-Arab military intervention against the Assad regime will begin shortly with the participation of the US, France, Britain, Turkey, Jordan and other anti-Assad Arab nations, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar. debkafile: French and British warships have joined the USS Eisenhower carrier off Syria. The mission would combine an air blitz and special operations forces on the ground for wiping out Assad’s chemical arms stocks, air force and air defense batteries.

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Barack Obama and Bashar Assad
A US-led Military Coalition Closes in on Assad from the North - Syrian Rebels from Center and South
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 30, 2012

Since the US has taken the lead in the coalition backing the Syrian rebellion, the rebels are going for strategic targets, including anti-air missiles for knocking Assad’s bombers out of the sky.

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Mohamed Morsi and Hillary Clinton
Obama Has Big Plans for Egyptian President. But His Own People Want Him out
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 30, 2012

President Obama admires President Morsi and wants him aboard his burgeoning anti-Iran Sunni alliance. The Egyptian street is baying for his blood.

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The Gaza Operation: Less a War than an Anti-Iran Coup
DEBKAfile Video November 28, 2012

Israel’s operation was an intel coup to shut Iran’s gateway to Cairo via Hamas.

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AWACs
Middle East in high suspense for Gaza operation sequels
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 25, 2012

Even before the Gaza conflict was over, the next major steps were in motion: US-manned Patriots and Awacs are in the pipeline for deployment on the Turkish Syrian border; Moscow moved its Black Sea Fleet’s naval task force opposite Gaza/Israeli shores, joining Tehran’s concern that the US-led coalition which wrecked Iran’s “southern front” in Gaza would turn against Syria and Hizballah. The US and Israel are braced for violent Iranian retribution; while Egyptian President Morsi’s troubles could undo the fragile Gaza ceasefire.

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The Russian Moskva missile cruiser
Russian warships in position opposite Israel
DEBKAfile Special Report November 23, 2012

The Black Sea Fleet's naval task force has been ordered  to remain in the eastern Mediterranean ready to evacuate Russian citizens from the Gaza Strip. debkafile: Moscow used the same pretext as Washington, readiness to evacuate nationals in an emergency, to account for the presence last week of the USS Iwo Jima and two other warships in the east Mediterranean. Both flotillas are in fact on standby for developments in the Syrian crisis. The Iwo Jima has since moved quietly into waters off Syria.

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Obama Plans to Finally Go for Syria’s Bashar Assad
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 23, 2012

Barack Obama second term is a changed president. After approving Israel’s operation in Gaza he is no longer holding back from direct US military involvement in Syria and has big plans to plug the Sinai smuggling routes through which Iran arms and supplies its surrogates in the Gaza Strip and other parts of the region.

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What's next for the Middle East?
Obama-2 and the Middle East
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly November 8, 2012

The latest DEBKA-Net-Weekly out last Friday offers an expert forecast of how Barack Obama is approaching the region’s hot-button crises in his second term as US President. First, he will go for a “Grand Bargain” with Iran on its nuclear program – then, fast deals with Moscow and Beijing to cool the crises of a war-torn Syria, a burgeoning Muslim Brotherhood and a rampant al Qaeda. Will he keep US ties with Israel and other allies ambivalent? And will Obama diplomacy work better this time?
For pointers, click here to subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly

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