DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 21, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, after an exchange of fire on the Golan, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said: “Last night we destroyed a Syrian army position which fired on an Israeli patrol.” Damascus earlier took responsibility for the attack and threatened to strike back for Israeli reprisals.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 16, 2013
Binyamin Netanyahu tried tackling Vladimir Putin on the sale of S-300 anti-air missiles to Syria but found that the missiles were already in place and the Russian leader unshakable in his support for the Assad regime – even to backing a war of attrition against Israel.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 13, 2013
Saudi Arabia is exploring dialogue with its great regional rival Iran for ending the Syrian conflict and assuring Lebanon’s political stability, after giving up on US policy for Syria, debkafile’s Gulf sources report. Monday, May 13, the Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers got together in Jeddah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 3, 2013
The big news on Syria this week is the surreptitious pact forged in Beirut by Russia’s visiting deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov witgh Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah which covers their collaboration in the war for keeping Bashar Assad in power and guarantees Hizballah a Russian shield against a potential Israeli attack.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 23, 2013
Israel’s chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz warned Monday, April 22, that tribal and ethnic warfare on the scale of Afghanistan awaited Syria. debkafile: Two heavily armed Hizballah combat brigades are fighting for Bashar Assad south of Homs.
US drone escapes attack over Hormuz. Syria threatens to bomb Lebanon. Russian marines dock in Beirut
DEBKAfile Special Report March 14, 2013
Middle East tensions are spiraling six days before US President Barack Obama lands in the Middle East. Thursday night, March 14, an Iranian fighter jet tried to bring down a US Predator drone over the Straits of Hormuz – until a US fighter escort fired warning flares. Syria threatened to bomb Lebanon unless Lebanese Islamists stopped pouring into Syria to fight with Jabhat a-Nusra. Three Russian warships carrying marines entered Beirut port for the first time after the Syrian Tartus port was judged unsafe.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 12, 2013
US and Israel are aware that the North Korean nuclear test carried out Tuesday, Feb. 12, brings Iran that much closer to conducting a test of its own. Shortly before the test, Ahmadinejad’s boast that Iran will soon place a satellite in orbit at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers - and Tehran’s claim to have sent a monkey into space – highlight the longstanding division of labor and pooling of knowledge between North Korea and Iran: the former focusing on nuclear armament and the latter on long-range missiles to deliver it.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 9, 2013
The Israeli Air Force, deployed densely over Syria’s borders with Israel, Jordan and Lebanon to guard against Assad’s promised payback for the IAF’s air strike against Jamraya on Jan. 30 and block the transfer of Hizballah’s advanced weapons to Lebanon, is also in position as potential game changer in the contest between the Syrian army and rebels. Assad is scheming how to move the weapons without evoking an attack, wherea the rebels plan to provoke an Israel-Syrian clash for an opportunity to ride into Damascus.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 27, 2013
Tehran is looking seriously at a limited Syrian-Lebanese clash of arms with Israel – possibly using Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons as a trigger, debkafile discloses. Israel reacted to this news by announcing Sunday, Jan. 27, the deployment of Iron Dome anti-missile batteries in northern Israel and Haifa port. A clash would serve Tehran by sidetracking Israel from striking Iran’s nuclear facilities and help spin out its nuclear talks with the Six Powers. Israel has got plans ready for current military challenges.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 26, 2013
At least eight officers were killed in a mysterious twin-car bomb explosion Friday, Jan. 25 at Syrian regional intelligence headquarters in Quneitra on Golan Heights. Some of the fatalities were Syrian, but Western intelligence sources disclosed to debkafile that most were high-ranking Iranian Al Qods Brigades and Hizballah officers. The incident sent tensions shooting up on the Israeli and Jordanian borders with Syria and may delay Bashar Assad’s all-out offensive against Syrian rebels - planned with Iranian aid.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 30, 2012
Both sides to the Syrian conflict appear to have launched a form of poison chemicals against their foes. Western and Middle East military sources say pro-Assad forces may have brought into the Homs battle of Dec. 23 imported gas grenades which Iran used to quell the 2009 Tehran riots. debkafile: Although Jordan claimed Sunday it “would not enter into any alliance to protect itself,” large NATO and US forces have prepared the kingdom for chemical attack. Some intelligence sources estimate Turkey or Israel may be next after Jordan.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 25, 2012
Tehran has plans to maintain its grip on Syria, even while Washington and Russia are pressing on with secret discussions on the fate of Syrian president Bashar Assad and, in Damascus, international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi Tuesday, Dec. 25, gave himself an extra six days to mediate a deal for ending the war. debkafile: Saudi intelligence chiefs at the GCC summit in Manama revealed that Iran intends launching Hizballah and local militias to sabotage any international deals and any transitional regime.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 6, 2012
President Barack Obama is holding back from ordering an attack on the Syrian army’s chemical units – just as the Syrian ruler is abstaining from issuing the “go” order to use those weapons. It seems that neither wants to go first. Stormy weather is a complicating factor which plays to Assad’s advantage.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 6, 2012
American officials said Wednesday, Dec. 4, that they believed bombs had been made ready with sarin gas, but not yet loaded onto fighter planes and Assad had not issued the “go” order. The USS Eisenhower Strike Group has reached the Syrian coast with 8 fighter bomber squadrons and 8,000 servicemen. With the USS Iwo Jima, the US has posted opposite Syria 70 fighter-bombers, 17 warships and 10,000 American fighting men – all in apparent readiness for US intervention in the Syrian conflict.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 4, 2012
As NATO in Brussels gave the go-ahead Tuesday night Dec. 4, for the deployment of Patriots to protect Turkey against Syrian missiles, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reported convoys of the Syrian army’s chemical weapons units heading out of Damascus under cover of dark and turning north up the road to Aleppo. They were ferrying self-propelled cannons and shells armed with poisonous sarin gas. Assad used the heavy winds, cloud and rain to obstruct Western attacks on the convoys.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 11, 2012
Israel’s deteriorating security situation has erupted simultaneously on two fronts. Sunday, Nov. 11, the IDF fired a Tamuz precision guided missile at a Syrian mortar position as a warning after a stray mortar hit an Israel Golan defense post. It was the fourth incident in 10 days. On the Gaza front, the Palestinians shot Grad missiles at Beersheba – one was intercepted by Iron Dome – after shooting 60 missiles in less than 24 hours. They injured four Israeli soldiers Saturday, four civilians Sunday – apparent victims of Katyushas supplied by Hizballah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 26, 2012
Obama’s tactics for blocking Binyamin Netanyahu’s options for attacking Iran are now being applied to the Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan to hold him back from direct military intervention on the side of the rebels in Syria and dragging American in too.