DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 31, 2013
Russia has been trying to form a Syrian delegation made up of second-tier Syrian officials and politicians who seek to preserve ties with Moscow and the existing ruling establishment – minus Assad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 24, 2013
In the secret cooperation pact forged between Mahmoud Abbas and Bashar Assad, Syria’s Palestinian have-seekers gain repatriation and protection for opting out of the war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 24, 2013
As Al Qods rounds up a Shiite legion across the Middle East to fight for Damascus, Hizballah is deeply reluctant to stay in the Syrian war arena any longer. The Saudis are pushing for a government in Beirut that will pull Hizballah out of Syria.
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.
Syrian, Hizballah rockets for Palestinian anti-Israel proxy-reprisals. Syrian Sukhoi bombers over Cyprus
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 9, 2013
Syria and Hizballah Sunday, Sept. 8, finished supplying rockets to dozens of Palestinian groups, some ad hoc inventions, and deploying them on the Syrian and Lebanese borders facing Israel, debkafile discloses. An array of Katyushas, Grads and Fajr-5s, with ranges of up to 70 kilometers, is now in place. That night, an Israeli anti-missile Iron Dome battery was deployed in the Jerusalem region for the first time. Also Sunday, two Sukhoi (Su-24) bombers flew over the British Cypriot air base of Akrotiri, the second Syrian over-flight in a week.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 8, 2013
Bashar Assad’s remark that he was “not necessarily expecting the United States to intervene” was the key phrase in an interview to be aired on the Charlie Rose Show on PBS Monday night, Sept. 9. It indicated that something new was afoot. Assad also denied he had anything to do with the chemical attack last month near Damascus. debkafile: Washington has handed the Syrian ruler a secret proposal for ending the crisis, which European powers are pushing hard. The momentum for US military action has slowed but the door remains open.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 30, 2013
The shock Thursday, Aug. 29, of David Cameron’s parliamentary defeat, knocking America’s foremost partner, Britain, out of the coming strike against Syria, highlighted American public opposition to the operation and criticism in the top US military command. The White House stressed the US would act unilaterally. Nonetheless, the Syrian conflict continues to be covered in confusion, much of it generated by the Obama administration’s conflicting policies. The breakdown of Obama’s coalition for Syria strikes at the heart of NATO and undermines US prestige in the Middle East.
Assad may hit back at Israel for US strike, trusting Obama to tie Israel’s hands against major reprisal
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 27, 2013
There is little logic in the Netanyahu government’s public assurances that the Syrian ruler Bashar Assad would not risk a major showdown with Israel for fear of an IDF response powerful enough to overthrow his regime. debkafile: President Barack Obama would not countenance an Israeli military strike against Syria disproportionate to a US operation, or capable of endangering Assad’s rule. Assad's Russian advisers have undoubtedly briefed him on Israel’s tied hands. However, even a limited US strike is likely to spread since Syria’s allies will not stand by idly.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 26, 2013
Five days late, UN team of experts Monday, Aug. 26, start scouring a site in eastern Damascus for shrapnel from the poison gas shells or rockets fired by the Syrian army’s 155th Brigade last Wednesday. debkafile: This was decided between the UN Secretariat and the White House Sunday night. They agreed that the only chance of finding evidence was to examine a targeted site or injured victims. Since, the latter are unavailable, the experts hope that even after a Syrian cleanup they may turn up shell fragments however microscopic.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 25, 2013
The US has little doubt the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians, a senior US official said Sunday, Aug. 25. "At this juncture, any belated regime decision to grant access to the UN team would be considered too late to be credible, including because the evidence available has been significantly corrupted.,” he said. This reaction indicated the White House had not backed away from military intervention, even after Tehran warned the US not to “cross red lines” in Syria and Moscow advised Washington to “avoid tragic mistakes.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 23, 2013
Because of the coup in Egypt, Iran doubled its military strength in Syria in fear of losing its last Arab foothold. Protecting Shiite shrines is a useful rallying cry for volunteers.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 22, 2013
By two comments, Israel confirmed Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 21 and 22, that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons on civilians in the region of Damascus – the first came from Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who said "The use of chemical weapons by the regime is not a first,” and the second from Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, who reported corroborative intelligence. Yet no one anywhere admits that Syria, any more than Iran, has crossed US and Israeli red lines and that this necessitates direct action.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 21, 2013
Syrian opposition activists reported between 200 and 650 dead in a poison gas air strike by government forces on rebel-held areas of eastern Damascus Tuesday, Aug. 21. This has not been verified. The regime denied the accusation. debkafile reports the first major incursion Saturday, Aug. 17 of Syrian rebels from Jordan into southern Syria, after receiving US training in special operations. Bashar Assad has said that if Damascus was in danger, he would resort to chemical warfare and the entire Middle East including Israel would go up in flames.
DEBKAfile Video August 17, 2013
Top US soldier Gen. Martin Dempsey has just inaugurated Centcom’s Forward Command in Jordan manned by 273 US officers. It is linked to US, Israel, Jordanian and Saudi air commands ready for an order from President Barack Obama to impose a partial no-fly zone over Syria.
Dempsey in Israel, Jordan, to tie last ends before Obama decides finally on US military action in Syria
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 13, 2013
Top US soldier Gen. Martin Dempsey arrived in Israel Monday, Aug. 12 for critical talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, followed by parallel talks in Jordan. debkafile: He is tying the last ends before President Barack Obama’s final nod for limited US military intervention in Syria. The Obama plan provides for a no fly zone and a buffer area to be captured by 3,000 US-trained special Syrian rebel fighters. It entails Israeli, Saudi, Jordanian and possible Turkish participation.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 2, 2013
Obama had finally approved military intervention in the Syrian conflict when the Saudis and the emirates vetoed his plans for fear they would lead to Syria’s disintegration instead of a unified Sunni state.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 2, 2013
John Kerry has undertaken two impossible goals: Reaching a final-status accord in nine months of Israel-Palestinian negotiations and holding them in total secrecy.
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.
Israeli leaders rebut criticism of under-reacting to threats from Syria by hinting at covert operations
DEBKAfile Special Report June 28, 2013
Senior Israeli officers in the North estimate that the IDF’s performance is just 40 percent of what is required for defending Israel’s border against the threats building up from the Golan. For too long, Israeli intelligence has been in thrall to the misconception that Bashar Assad’s days are numbered and underestimated Hizballah’s combat effectiveness in the Syrian war. Friday, an Iron Dome anti-missile battery was finally deployed to the northern town of Haifa, after a different kind of rhetoric came from Israeli leaders.
DEBKAfile Video June 26, 2013
Shortly after DEBKA aired a special video on the Syrian war’s widening circle, Moscow announced Wednesday June 26, the evacuation beginning Friday of all Russian military and diplomatic personnel from Syria was complete, including its naval base at Tartus.