DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 25, 2013, 11:05 PM (GMT+02:00)
Bashar Assad is so sure of eventually winning the war waged against him that he has hired PR experts to refurbish his image. As rebels begin to desert, he plans a foreign trip and international summit.
Violent Ramadan ahead: Egypt’s army chief says no to dialogue with Brotherhood. Assad nixes ceasefire
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 9, 2013, 10:14 AM (GMT+02:00)
The Muslim Ramadan beginning in the Middle East Tuesday, July 9, heralds more, rather than less, bloodshed. After at least 51 deaths in a Cairo shootout Monday, Egypt’s military chief Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi rebuffed US efforts for national dialogue and is preparing rapid action to meet the Muslim Brotherhood’s “intifada” in Egyptian towns and Sinai. Iran and Russia are rushing military supplies to Bashar Assad, who is pressing ahead with his projected Syrian-Hizballah battle for Aleppo after rejecting a Ramadan ceasefire.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2013, 6:58 PM (GMT+02:00)
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon wants America as partner if at all possible for attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. But if Washington declines and Iran is on the verge of acquiring an operational nuclear arsenal – most probably this year - Israel must go it alone. He plans to do away with the classical divisions, brigades and professional corps like artillery and tanks which characterize a conventional army, and replace them with small, self-contained, armies capable of operating independently under their own air and artillery cover.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2013, 11:09 PM (GMT+02:00)
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 February 15, 2013, 1:14 AM (GMT+02:00)
The Islamist factions of the Syrian rebellion are now getting anti-tank missiles from Serbia, Kosovo and Albania through Kosovo Liberation Army contacts. The new heavy arms have brought the rebels three victories in one week.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 12, 2013, 10:48 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tuesday night, Feb. 12, the Syrian Air Force began bombing the large al-Jarra air base which rebels led by Islamist battalions conquered near the northern city of Aleppo. Bashar Assad ordered his air force to destroy dozens of its own fighter-bombers: L-29 trainer planes, Sukhoi Su-22M bombers and Mig-23 interceptors. Their loss deprives the Syrian ruler of the means to wipe out rebel forces from the air. Had they possessed air crews, the rebels could have used their prize to bomb the presidential palace.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 2, 2012, 11:44 AM (GMT+02:00)
Western intelligence officers have seen new and different types of activity at Syrian chemical weapons sites, the New York Times reported Sunday, Dec. 2. “It’s not just moving stuff around,” they said. debkafile’s Middle East sources add rumors were flying around the region Saturday night and Sunday morning that President Assad had been killed or had fled Syria. Neither is confirmed. Those rumors tie in with the suggestive movements of chemical weapons picked up by Western intelligence.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 15, 2012, 10:36 PM (GMT+02:00)
Several high-placed generals Sunday, July 17 bolted Bashar Assad’s inner circle to Turkey, including such key figures as two security services chiefs who were operations commanders of the Alawite Shabiha militia plus the former head of Syria’s chemical and biological administration who took six other generals with him, debkafile reports exclusively. Another senior general was assassinated in Aleppo. Assad also received a last warning not to move his chemical weapons again or else they would be destroyed from the air.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 21, 2012, 11:41 PM (GMT+02:00)
Syrian President Bashar Assad Thursday night, June 21, ordered his entire Air Force fleet of fighter bombers grounded to guard against more defections. Syrian officials are sure that the defection of Col. Hasan Merhi al-Hamadeh, who flew to Jordan aboard a MiG-21, was set up by the CIA - with more to come, to show the Syrian people and Arab world that even the Syrian air force, the part of the armed forces most loyal to Assad, was in fact slipping away from him.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly June 12, 2012, 11:23 AM (GMT+02:00)
Syria is being further wrenched apart following US President Barack Obama’s maneuverings for winning Russian cooperation in resolving the Syrian conflict for US nuclear concessions to Iran: As the coming DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday reveals, Russia is cementing its grip on Syria’s Mediterranean coast while pushing its civil war-torn heartland over to the Americans.
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DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 29, 2012, 11:05 AM (GMT+02:00)
Vladimir Putin, after taking stock of the early days of his third presidency, concludes that Moscow’s handling of the al-Houla massacre and Syria’s ongoing collapse into civil war will go down as a Russian foreign policy failure. He personally comes out of it as the patron of a bloodthirsty tyrant. He has quietly ordered the Russian arms ship Professor Katsman to leave the Syrian port before unloading its cargo. Putin is now taxed with determining his next steps on Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 22, 2012, 12:01 PM (GMT+02:00)
Syrian rebels have received their first “third generation” anti-tank weapons, 9K115-2 Metis-M and Kornet E, debkafile reports. They are supplied by Saudi and Qatari intelligence agencies following a secret message from President Barack Obama upping the military stake in the effort to oust Assad. It is hoped that the sight of blazing tanks will undermine morale in the Syrian army and regime. Ankara was also advised to start providing Syrian rebels with IEDs for roadside bombing of government vehicles.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 14, 2012, 10:54 AM (GMT+02:00)
Bashar Assad has stepped in directly to halt the covert war his Western and Arab foes are waging against his regime through Lebanon. debkafile’s military sources disclose he is now sending Lebanese army commanders direct orders for cutting arms, money, fighters and medical supplies to the rebels, especially in Homs. Last week, Lebanese Chief of Staff Gen. Jean Kahwagi was given a crude ultimatum: Take care of the Syrian rebels’ backers in Tripoli, or else the Syrian army will enter Lebanon and do the job.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 10, 2012, 2:06 PM (GMT+02:00)
Beset on two fronts, Bashar Assad rushed his elite Presidential Guard to Damascus Thursday, May 10, as two massive car bombs demolished the command center of the Syrian military security service’s reconnaissance division in the al Qaza district killed 55 people and injured more than 300. Over to the southeast, debkafile reports 12,000 special operations troops from 17 nations, including the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are poised on the Jordanian side of the Syrian border.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 23, 2012, 7:10 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israeli border lookout points report that in the last two days, large groups of armed Syrian soldiers have been seen deserting their Golan bases and prowling for water and food, after their regular supplies were stopped and redirected to units fighting anti-Assad rebels. They don’t ask Israeli soldiers for food, but parcels thrown across the fence vanish in a trice. Meanwhile, gangs, some local, some from Jordan and Iraq, are raiding the unguarded Syrian facilities on looting expeditions and stripping them of equipment.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 15, 2012, 10:18 PM (GMT+02:00)
Announcing he is not responsible for the UN observers, President Bashar Assad has set in motion steps for prolonging his war on the Syrian people. For essential funding, debkafile discloses, he has offered Moscow and Beijing $30 billion worth of government bonds to replenish his depleted war chest. And at the UN Security Council, while Russia’s Vitaly Churkin voted for a UN observer team to secure the erratic Syrian ceasefire, Moscow quietly sent warships to Syrian shores to secure the Assad regime.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 10, 2012, 11:42 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tuesday night, April 10, after Damascus skipped the truce laid down in the UN-Arab envoy Kofi Annan’s plan and escalated its attacks on the Syrian population, a change of tone was detected in Washington, reflecting the feeling that America can no longer stay aloof from the Syrian tragedy. One plan discussed is for a US air strike against an Assad regime and/or military target to show his loyal troops and the Syrian opposition that the Syrian ruler is fallible. Thursday, the UN Security Council will hear Annan's report.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2012, 11:07 PM (GMT+02:00)
Certain he is safe from Western-Arab intervention, Bashar Assad Sunday, April 8 unleashed an across-the board offensive against the last surviving rebel locations in 30 towns and villages. debkafile reports that for the first time, heavy long-range artillery as well as air force helicopters pounded the last rebel positions in the northern mountains of Idlib, attesting to Assad’s determination to finish his opponents once and for all with no holds barred and backing to the hilt from Tehran and Moscow.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 8, 2012, 12:26 PM (GMT+02:00)
Moscow has stepped into the vacuum created by US President Barack Obama’s decision to stay out of Middle East troubles while campaigning for a second term. After blocking the way to direct Western and Arab military intervention in Syria through the Mediterranean, Russia sent its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last week to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan – to secure Iran against a potential US/Israeli attack via its northern and eastern neighbors, debkafile reports. Armenia is to host a Russian radar station.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 2, 2012, 9:36 AM (GMT+02:00)
At the Friends of Syria 2 in Istanbul, opposition representative Prof. George Sabra failed to convince US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that a US-protected token safe haven village near Idlib would start splintering the hard face of army loyalty to Bashar Assad. The meeting ended as it began with a US commitment of funding for humanitarian aid and “communications gear for opposition forces” (to fight Assad’s tanks?), leaving Assad under no compulsion to implement any part of the Annan peace plan.