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Amid another peak wave of violence in Syria, Washington has quietly withdrawn from its waters the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier and its Strike Group and the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group with 2,000 Marines aboard.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.
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 Exclusive Report November 30, 2012
Since the US has taken the lead in the coalition backing the Syrian rebellion, the rebels are going for strategic targets, including anti-air missiles for knocking Assad’s bombers out of the sky.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 30, 2012
President Obama admires President Morsi and wants him aboard his burgeoning anti-Iran Sunni alliance. The Egyptian street is baying for his blood.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 29, 2012
Thursday night, Nov. 29, the UN General Assembly grants Palestine non-member observer status within the 1967 borders by majority vote. But to which Palestinian rule does it apply? Abbas’s Fatah is fading, whereas the extremist Hamas in the Gaza Strip is a rising force. If it qualifies for a place in the Sunni Middle East grouping Egypt, Turkey and Qatar are building with US backing and Israeli approval, Hamas may become the beneficiary of the upgraded Palestinian status won by Abbas.
DEBKAfile Video November 28, 2012
Israel’s operation was an intel coup to shut Iran’s gateway to Cairo via Hamas.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 27, 2012
Tuesday, Nov. 27, the Middle East military spotlight swung around from Gaza to Syria with the start of US and NATO intervention. A game changer began unfolding with the site survey begun by a joint Turkish-NATO team for the deployment of Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems manned by American military teams. debkafile: Although billed for “defensive purposes,” the Patriots will in fact impede Syrian air bombardments over all of northern Syria, including the embattled towns of Aleppo and Homs.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 25, 2012
Even before the Gaza conflict was over, the next major steps were in motion: US-manned Patriots and Awacs are in the pipeline for deployment on the Turkish Syrian border; Moscow moved its Black Sea Fleet’s naval task force opposite Gaza/Israeli shores, joining Tehran’s concern that the US-led coalition which wrecked Iran’s “southern front” in Gaza would turn against Syria and Hizballah. The US and Israel are braced for violent Iranian retribution; while Egyptian President Morsi’s troubles could undo the fragile Gaza ceasefire.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 9, 2012
Obama has decided to break through the Syrian stalemate by sending scouts out to find a Syrian rebel with leadership qualities who is fighting Assad in Syria. When this leader is found and approved by the president, the United States will provide him and his militia with advanced hardware for winning the war.will be awarded
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.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 18, 2012
Eight nations are embroiled on both sides of the Syrian civil war, although the governments concerned pretend they are keeping to a policy led by the Obama administration of non-intervention. Amid cross-border clashes with Turkey, Bashar Assad has embarked on a scorched earth policy against his country.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 17, 2012
Two Bashar Assad external supporters took significant military steps Wednesday, Oct. 17. Russia started moving advanced S-400 interceptors over to its southern military region opposite Turkey, as Ankara’s clashes with Assad’s forces intensified. Hizballah began removing rockets and fighting units out of their South Lebanon positions opposite Israel and transferring them to the Homs front as back-up for Syrian forces. This attests to the rising scope and fury of the Syrian army’s onslaught on rebel forces.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 11, 2012
War tensions over Syria shot up again early Thursday, Oct. 11, when the Turkish army was placed on high readiness and its chiefs pledge stronger responses to Syria. An authoritative US source told debkafile that Turkey had - by forcing a Syrian civilian flight en route from Moscow land in Ankara and banning flights over Syria - begun creating a no-fly zone over Syria. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta again cited the threat of chemical warfare. US sources don’t expect Assad or Iran to take Turkish actions lying down.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 10, 2012
Turkish air force jets forced a Syrian 35-passenger Airbus A320 bound from Moscow to Damascus to land in Ankara Wednesday night, Oct. 10. Ankara also announced Syrian air space was no longer safe for civilian flights – a signal that Ankara will stop civilian air traffic over Syria. Turkey has not indicated whether military aircraft or Iranian civilian planes frequenting Syrian skies are included in the ban, but it begins to look as though Turkey has take steps toward imposing Syria’s first no-fly zone.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 4, 2012
Turkish artillery continued to pound Syria Thursday, October 4, with the aim of carving out a 10-kilometer buffer strip inside Syria, debkafile reports. Several Syrian army bases and positions inside this strip have taken direct hits and a large number of Syrian troops were killed or wounded. Turkey hopes its artillery barrage will help Syrian rebels create a 50-km long protected corridor between Aleppo and the Turkish border. Ankara and Damascus have both imposed a blackout to keep events under control and avoid a full-blown war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 8, 2012
The first US-Turkish backed steps for creating safe havens in Syria and possible Western bombardment of the Syrian army have brought the Middle East close to two dangerous junctures: The Syrian army’s use of chemical and biological weapons, and an outbreak of hostilities between Hizballah and Israel – which nearly happened in mid-week, debkafile reports.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 7, 2012
Turkey is finally getting its safe haven plan off the ground by bringing two Syrian rebel brigades under Turkish command for capturing large segments of northern Syria. The Free Syrian has meanwhile begun liquidating foreign Islamists including al Qaeda who have streamed into Syria to fight Assad.