DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 18, 2015
Scores of Iranian and Hizballah fighters and a Syrian general were killed by “friendly fire” from the Syrian army’s 9th Division’s artillery and missiles Wednesday, Feb. 18, debkafile report. The incident, during their push from S. Syria to the Golan is attributed to faulty coordination among the assorted forces in the drive for Quneitra, where Tehran plans to establish a major military outpost and forward command center up against Israel’s Golan deployment. This is the first instance of Syria’s Bashar Assad agreeing to pass a warfront to Iranian command.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 11, 2015
A large Syrian force - combined with thousands of Shiite and Hizballah fighters - Sunday, Feb. 8 launched its broadest southern offensive in the four-year conflict, heralding Act III of the Iranian-Hizballah drive for a foothold on Israel’s Golan border, debkafile reports. By Wednesday, Feb. 11, “Operation Ali Allah Dadi for Quneitra Martyrs,” had reached to within 5-6 km south and east of Quneitra, ready for a final assault on the Syrian Golan town. Israel’s failure to curtail their advance would let Iran take up a forward position on its doorstep.
Israel struck nine Syrian targets in response to boy’s death, and as a boost for the rebel bid for Quneitra
DEBKAfile Special Report June 23, 2014
Israel carried out nine strikes against Syrian military targets after midnight Monday, June 23, in retaliation for a Kornet rocket attack which killed an Israeli boy, and injured two others a few hours earlier. They were conducted by air and by Spike NLOS anti-tank missiles (Tamuz), against the Syrian 90th Brigade command center in Quneitra and three battalions. The IDF Spokesman said this was in response for ongoing cross-border aggression. debkafile: It was also an opportunity to help Syrian rebels break their standoff with Syria forces in the battle for Quneitra.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 29, 2014
Iran pulling together Shiite army of Afghan refugees to aid Assad’s depleted forces, as the US begins training Syrian rebels.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 21, 2014
On April 11, Syrian planes dropped Chinese-manufactured chlorine gas canisters rigged with explosive detonators on Kafr Zita near Hama. Since then, British and French intelligence sources report at least four such attacks against the northern towns of Idlib and Homs and the Harasta and Jobar districts outside Damascus. Assad is dropping these crippling gas bombs at the rate of one every three days, mocking the 2013 Kerry-Lavrov chemical disarmament pact. debkafile: Iran is buying Chinese chlorine in industrial quantities off the Internet from a Hangzhou-based firm.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 9, 2014
The Syrian army’s 90th Brigade’s loss of the forward Tel Al-Ahmar Golan position to rebel forces including al Qaeda’s Nusra Front was Bashar Assad’s most humiliating military setback in the past year. Situated on the Israeli border, that position commands the Golan town of Quneitra opposite the Israeli army. Determined to recover it, Assad has mustered a Syrian-Hizballah-Iraqi Shiite expeditionary force. Israel will have to decide how to deal with violations of the Golan demilitarized zone if the Syrian army uses heavy armor and mounts air strikes against the rebels.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 19, 2014
That Israel has no answer for attacks from Syrian territory was apparent from its response to the bombing Tuesday, March 18 of the Golan Post 104, which injured four paratroopers – one seriously - the fourth such attack this month. Artillery and rockets were directed at a Syrian army post near Quneitra followed by air strikes. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon held the Assad regime responsible.debkafile: Holding a sovereign state responsible for terrorist action from its soil never worked in Gaza and will only lead to a war of attrition in the north.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 13, 2014
Assad owes his nine lives and survivability to his army’s loyalty and the husbanding of his military resources and fire power for defending his regime.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 20, 2013
Netanyahu and Gantz oppose intervention in Syria as a high-risk gamble, while some top generals urge building a security buffer in Syria up to the Israeli border to block the path of Al Qaeda to the Golan.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 8, 2013
Large Syrian forces through Tuesday night, Oct. 8, tightened the siege on the rebel-held town of Khan Arnabeh which is the key to controlling the main highway from the capital, Damascus, to the Syrian Golan. The town is expected to fall quite soon. Its capture also provides the key to the central crossroads around the Golan town of Quneitra and will enable the Syria army to return to the UN-policed disengagement zone dividing the enclave between Syria and Israel. debkafile: The rebels are putting up no more than token resistance.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 4, 2013
The mainstream Syrian rebel FSA is for the first time willing to discuss local ceasefires in parts of Damascus, Aleppo and Homs, with officers of Assad’s army.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 29, 2013
Three months after the fall of Al Qusayr, the combined Syrian and Hizballah armies have captured the key city of Homs, 162 km northeast of Damascus. Its fall opens the way for Syrian-Hizballah forces to move in on Aleppo for a decisive victory. debkafile: Washington, Jerusalem and Ankara have run out of time for quibbling over whether to step into the Syrian conflict. The Obama administration must decide fast whether to let Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers win the Syrian civil war or stop them at Aleppo.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 25, 2013
A logistics base for handling tanks, missile systems, self-propelled artillery bound for Syria and Hizballah is secretly under construction at Port Sudan, debkafile reports exclusively. Iranian Revolutionary Guards engineers in civilian dress are overseeing the hundreds of Sudanese workmen laboring flat out to build Iran’s second Red Sea base after Assab in South Eritrea. It is designed to handle Iran’s largest warships and submarines with a large arms depot that will cut in half the sea route for Iranian heavy arms to reach Iran’s Syrian and Hizballah allies.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 3, 2013
The thousands of Israeli military reservists rushed to the Syrian and Lebanese borders this week were told they would take part in a drill starting next Sunday. In fact, they opened up the border outposts and other facilities which had been shuttered for years and reactivated them as backing for the regular outposts.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2013
The Syrian army’s 4th Division-Republican Guard cleared most of the rebels out of the eastern suburbs of Damascus Monday, April 8, debkafile reporst. Bashar Assad’s brother Maher at the head of the 4th Division, executed a surprise pincer movement spearheaded by tank and artillery fire, in time to impede the rebel advance on the center of Damascus and the international airport. This major operation is assumed to have been designed by Assad’s foreign advisers, Iranian or Russian, and averted a chemical attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 5, 2013
The rebel fighters’ newly-acquired antitank guided missiles-ATGM (of both Russian and American manufacture) are knocking over the T-72 tanks of the 4th Republican Guard Division and the 3rd Division, the backbone of the capital’s defenses, while their portable MANPAD air defense systems have brought practically all takeoffs and landings at Damascus International Airport to a standstill.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 19, 2013
Bashar Assad has evacuated most of the troops of his 5th Army Division from their permanent bases on the Golan opposite Israeli forces and transferred them along with their artillery to Damascus, debkafile’s military sources report. This step was intended by Assad to reinforce the defense of his capital, while at the same time providing the al Qaeda-linked fighters in rebel ranks direct access to the Israel border. In no time, the jihadists are expected to turn their guns and missiles on Israel.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 21, 2013
Moscow Monday, Jan. 21 said two Russian planes would land in Beirut Tuesday to evacuate 100 Russians from Syria, and contingency plans were in hand to lift 30,000 Russians from the embattled country. debkafile: This was decided after Bashar Assad told his high command to organize mobile armored strike groups for a big push to evict rebel forces from the places they captured. Russia and Iran have stepped up their arms deliveries to Assad’s army by sea and by air in support of Assad's coming offensive.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 29, 2012
Moscow and Tehran have advanced from their strategic partnership for Bashar Assad's survival to military cooperation. debkafile: An Iranian naval maneuver began in the Straits of Hormuz Friday, Dec. 28 - two days after Russia launched its largest naval war game ever in the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. As Iranian-made Fateh A-110 missiles were fired this week by the Syrian army under Iranian officers, Moscow rapidly expanded the deployment of its highly-sophisticated S-400 interceptors near the Turkish border.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 8, 2012
US, Turkish, British, Jordanian and French forces stand ready around Syrian borders awaiting the order to go forward still to come from US President Barack Obama. debkafile: President Bashar Assad is regrouping his army in defense array in strategic parts of Damascus, while planting mines and bomb traps in abandoned bases. Convoys carrying missiles, shells and canisters armed with chemical weapons continue to ply roads to the north, while the airlift of Iranian arms is rerouted to Palmyra.