DEBKAfile Special Report May 12, 2013
Russian Navy Admiral Viktor Chirkov said Sunday, May 12, that a permanent staff of 20 officers is in place to run Russian fleet operations in the Mediterranean Sea. debkafile: Russia’s step aims at safeguarding the Assad regime and securing its Hizballah and Iranian allies. It also signals Moscow’s Middle East comeback.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 25, 2013
Pushed hard by the US, Turkish officials opened discussions with Israel on the revival of their former military and intelligence collaboration, especially in relation to the Syrian conflict on which they agreed to pool intelligence and work together in Iraqi Kurdistan.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 5, 2013
As Israeli offshore gas came on stream, the jockeying for a stake was in full spate. Netanyahu is believed to have been hustled by Washington into picking Turkey as Israel’s energy partner rather than Russia.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 30, 2013
The West has initiated an arms embargo against the Syrian rebels fighting Bashar Assad since discovering that some of the weapons are being resold to al Qaeda for its conquest of southern Syrian and takeover of positions on the Jordanian and Israel borders and Yarmuk River. This policy reversal was disclosed by French President Francois Hollande Friday, March 29. debkafile: Alarm over the Nusra Front’s territorial gains now tops concerns over chemical warfare in the deliberations of the joint US-Israeli, US-Jordanian and US-Turkish command centers.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 29, 2013
NATO commander Adm. James Stavridis’s Plan B for Syria would aim straight at Bashar Assad’s ouster but would not require the participation of US forces – only NATO units led by the Turkish military and supported by small special ground contingents from Britain, France, Holland, Poland and the Czech Republic.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 28, 2013
Syrian rebels in Aleppo are obtaining their first heavy weapons – 220-mm MLRS rocket launchers – through a large-scale supply operation run by Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, debkafile reports exclusively. In Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo, his agents snapped up Russian-made MLRS (Smerch) and Hurricane 9K57 launchers capable of firing scores of 220-mm rockets to a distance of 70 kilometers. Bandar hopes these weapons will expedite the rebels' capture of the big Syrian air base of Nairab near Aleppo.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 1, 2013
Turkish interior minister Moammer Guler identified the suicide bomber who detonated an explosive Friday, Feb. 1 at the US embassy in Ankara, killing a Turkish security guard, as Ecevit Sanli, 31, a member of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), an outlawed left-wing terrorist group. He was released from Turkish jail eight months ago. debkafile: The DHKP/C, which is associated with Lebanese terrorist groups and Syrian left-wing factions, was suspected of the attack killing five Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria last July.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 28, 2013
Comments by US President Barack Obama and Ambassador Dan Shapiro lack a US commitment to step in against the Syrian chemical threat. Obama is concerned with juggling his global military priorities against a shrinking defense budget. debkafile: The onus for coping with the chemical peril is being passed by Washington to Turkey, Jordan and Israel. US aid will be confined to setting targets, providing intelligence and coordinating Israeli-Turkish-Jordanian military operations if necessary to take control of the dangerous arsenal.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 25, 2013
The Turkish prime minister believes a resolution of the long and bloody feud with the Kurdish PKK will bring him the presidency in 2014. Iran will do its best to thwart a deal that grants more autonomy to Turkish Kurds as an undesirable precedent for stirring up its own Kurdish minority.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 12, 2013
French President Francois Hollande placed the country on high domestic terror alert Saturday, Jan. 12, in case of retaliatory attacks by al Qaeda for French operations against two of its African wings: a failed mission to rescue a French hostage from the Somali Shabaab, and air and commando aid for the Mali army’s drive to stop advancing Islamists. The Islamists threatened to execute at least eight French hostages, one by one, unless French forces pulled out of Somalia and Mali at once.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 11, 2013
Since the US pulled its fleet away from Syrian shores and the rebels’ arms supplies began drying up, Turkey and Israel assumed defensive postures vis a vis Syria, while the rebels began thinking about reconciliation with Bashar Assad.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 9, 2013
The three-way prisoner exchange of thousands of Syrian, Turkish and Iranian prisoners Wednesday, Jan. 9, was the first deal between Bashar Assad and the rebels. This turning-point in the 22-month Syrian conflict was made possible by the Syrian ruler’s confidence in his survival and the rebels’ realization that it was their only chance to save some of their war gains. The POW swap may lead to a lull in the fighting as both sides build up their resources – either to win the war or improve their future bargaining position.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 4, 2013
The early emergence of Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities confused the Americans, produces US warnings and Israeli threats. Turkey soon applied to NATO for Patriot missiles.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 4, 2013
Syria launches Scuds against the rebels as they near the Al Safira chemical weapons depot. Lavrov asserts that the weapons are under control – for now. Netanyahu goes to Amman for talks with King Abdullah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 24, 2012
Turkey’s resumption of strategic cooperation with Israel through NATO is a major breakthrough for Binyamin Netanyahu. He is constantly accused of bringing Israel into deep international isolation as he runs for reelection. NATO and Turkey undercut that charge. Barack Obama worked hard to heal the breach between Ankara and Jerusalem - both to strengthen his burgeoning pro-US Middle East axis and to pave the way for the resuscitation of Israel-Palestinian peace talks in March, 2013 in accord with Netanyahu.
DEBKAfile Video December 19, 2012
debkafile Exclusive: The Russians have given Bashar Assad his most sophisticated weapon thus far – the Iskander cruise missile which has a hypersonic speed of 1.3 miles per second. The Syrian ruler now has at his disposal a fearsome armory of chemical weapons and a top-line missile.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 16, 2012
Amid another peak wave of violence in Syria, Washington has quietly withdrawn from its waters the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier and its Strike Group and the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group with 2,000 Marines aboard. Russian vessels have meanwhile unloaded at Tartus a large consignment of arms for Assad’s army. Adding to stresses around Syria, Ahmadinejad cancelled a scheduled trip to Turkey, citing the warning by Iran’s military chief that the deployment of Patriots in Turkey heralded world war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 9, 2012
US, Israeli, Jordanian and Turkish special forces are on the ground in Syria, armed with special gear for combating chemical arms. They are close enough to count the convoys carrying poison gas weapons, augmented by US military surveillance satellites and drones able to pinpoint their position at any moment. But it is feared that Bashar Assad has moved the chemical arms to secret caches and so US and other Western forces are poised opposite Syria’s borders ready to strike for any unforeseen move.
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.