DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 15, 2014
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Israel Wednesday May 14 for talks with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon from an inspection of the US-Jordanian underground command center located 10 kilometers north of Amman, debkafile reports. It was the first visit by a high-ranking US official to a US military facility directly involved in the Syrian war. His talks in Jordan and Israel will determine whether the US-backed rebel forces engaged in battle for control of the Golan town of Quneitra, open a new southern front against Bashar Assad and threaten Damascus.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 13, 2014
Nine Syrian rebel militias are advancing on the main Syrian Golan town of Quneitra (pop: 20,000) to wrest from the Syrian army its last Golan foothold with access to the Israeli border. The first objective of their Operation “Levant of the Prophet” is to seize the Quneitra-Ein Zivan crossing, before targeting Quneitra the town. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who visited the Golan Tuesday, May 13, said, “Syrian rebels have pushed Assad’s military into a corner.” debkafile: Quneitra’s fall would free the Golan and S. Syria of the presence of Assad’s army and Hizballah.
Homs falls to Assad: UN, Iranian officers secure Syrian rebels’ exit after Iranian hostages freed in Aleppo
DEBKAfile Special Report May 7, 2014
A joint UN observer-Iranian military team began evacuating 2,000 Syrian rebels and their families from the Old City of Homs Wednesday, May 7 ending the Syrian army’s brutal two-year siege. It was another major victory for President Bashar Assad. As a rebel on his way out put it to Western reporters, “The rest of the world failed us.” That the UN needed Iranian aid to accomplish this rescue attested to Tehran’s dominant role in Damascus – even greater than that of Russia - and the Revolutionary Guards’ control over Syrian and Hizballah military forces.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 22, 2014
Syrian rebels have been sighted wielding anti-aircraft weapons in various combat sectors in the last few days. Just as on April 6 debkafile was the first publication to disclose the supply of US weapons - BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles – to certain Syrian rebel militias, our military sources now reveal the delivery of Russian-made 9K310 Igla-1 aka SA-16 anti-aircraft rockets, whose operational range is 5.2 km. While the rebels can now hit Syrian assault aircraft for the first time, the new systems comes too late to turn the tide of war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 10, 2014
Assad moves fast to extend his military dominance over the south after discovering rebels backed by the US, Israel and Jordan taking over borderlands including the Golan.
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 Report April 4, 2014
The US begins supplying Syrian rebels – via Saudi Arabia – advanced weapons, including include anti-tank, anti-aircraft missiles, heavy mortars and ammo. All the same, Obama’s welcome in Riyadh was heated rather than warm.
Syrian rebels allowed to attack Latakia from Turkish soil under Turkish air cover. Iran raises Cain in Ankara
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 29, 2014
Turkey has ratcheted up its intervention in the Syrian war to an unprecedented level, debkafile reports exclusively. For the first time in the three-year conflict, Turkey is giving Syrian rebel forces, including the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, passage through its territory to attack the northwestern Syrian coastal area around Latakia, the Assad clan’s birthplace. But if the rebels are thrown back, will the Turkish army come to their aid? If so, it would be Ankara’s first outright military incursion into Syria and NATO’s first intrusion in its civil war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 21, 2014
Assad has shifted the Syrian border to accommodate his gift to Hizballah of the Qalmoun Mountains to reward the Lebanese Shiites for aiding in the capture of Yabroud.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2014
The US has set up a new rebel command center at Quneitra near Israeli lines on the Golan. Its officers are indigenous Bedouin Al Nuaim tribesmen, defectors from the Syrian army, and Free Syrian Army survivors. Last week, Assad’s forces ambushed Syrian rebels trained in Jordan as they crossed into Syria. Over this weekend, his troops moved in on the environs of Quneitra and captured two villages. debkafile: There is still a long way to go before a force is ready to fight for a border strip in southern Syria under US-Israeli-Jordanian control.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 19, 2014
Israel’s top leaders marked the second round of nuclear talks between the Six Powers and Iran with a visit Tuesday, Feb. 18, to injured Syrians at the IDF field hospital in central Golan. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said: “I would like to tell the world today that Iran has changed neither its aggressive policy nor its brutal character…” debkafile: The IDF has thrown up a new dual bulwark on both sides of the Syrian border, including the new Bashan territorial division complete with a high-tech combat intelligence collection battalion.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 13, 2014
Syrian and Hizballah troops launched a major assault Wednesday, Feb. 12, on the Christian-Sunni Muslim town of Yabroud, 80 km north of Damascus, the last stronghold in the strategic Qalalmoun mountains to be held by Syrian rebel and Islamist forces. debkafile: Its fall would open the Damascus highway to Homs and the Allawite regions, secure Hizballah supply routes from Lebanon and potentially revive flagging Syrian army morale. Iranian Al Qods Brigades spies report Yabroud is the source of the bombing attacks on Hizballah in Beirut, Baalbek and the Beqaa Valley.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 31, 2014
Erdogan visits Tehran to mark the end of Turkish cooperation with Washington and the start of a new era for the two non-Arab powers to start dominating the Middle East.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 31, 2014
The US reverses its non-intervention policy for Syria and decides to arm three selected Syrian rebel militias to gain a foothold in Damascus and help defeat Hizballah on Mt. Qalamoun.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 15, 2013
The Obama administration is again doubling back on its Syrian war policy. On Dec. 11, the Saudi-backed Islamic Front rebels inflicted a disastrous defeat on the pro-American Free Syrian Army in northern Syria. debkafile reports that Washington reacted by launching a secret approach to win over the Islamic Front, the most powerful force now battling the Assad regime. Voices in Washington are urging the White House to start talking to Bashar Assad, leading the administration to consider forming a Syrian lineup to save the country from falling to Al Qaeda.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 13, 2013
The voices raised in Washington urging Barack Obama to talk directly with Bashar Assad, reflect his mounting war successes.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 9, 2013
Bashar Assad’s army achieved a signal strategic breakthrough Sunday, Dec. 8, by its conquest of Nabuk in the Qalamoun Mountains. The rebel forces have been thrown into disarray, leaving only Jabhat al Nusra and the Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda fit to fight Assad. Syrian rebels have therefore found Washington turning a cold shoulder and developing indirect contacts with pro-Assad army elements and, through British diplomats, Hizballah. On the Syrian uprising’s 1,000th day, the same US-Russian-Iranian coalition which fixed the Geneva nuclear accord is moving into position for a Syrian solution.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 23, 2013
Syrian rebel militias are falling apart and as they lose their foreign funding fight each other in a grab for Syria’s oil fields to replace lost revenue.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 8, 2013
Turkish-Iranian intelligence cooperation has produced an operation against Syria rebel supplies through Turkey. Tehran wants to redirect Turkish exports from its Israeli route back to Syria, and use the Turkish route to promote Iranian products in Europe.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 20, 2013
Some Syrian rebel chiefs controlling Damascus outskirts are clinching private ceasefire deals with local government army officers, a trend spreading to other cities. debkafile: These local deals are evolving into joint patrols of rebel-held districts. This trend offers the prospect of wide areas seized by the rebels reverting to government control without a fight and the two camps joining forces to combat the spreading encroachments of Al Qaeda. Assad hopes he will start looking better in Washington and ease the pressure over the chemicals issue.