DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 15, 2012
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 July 14, 2012
Western military sources warned Saturday, July 14, that not only Israel, but Turkey and Jordan, too, should prepare for chemical missile strikes by a beleaguered Bashar Assad after missiles were test-fired this week in the Syrian war game against all three. There is disagreement in the West on Assad’s motives for moving his WMD out of storage. Some US officials say he is safeguarding them against falling into rebel hands; British officials report chemical weapons at Homs, Latakia and Aleppo deployed for ethnical cleansing.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 2, 2012
In a phone call to the Kremlin Sunday, July 1, Syrian President Bashar Assad said he needed just two months to finish off the revolt against his regime. “My new military tactics are working,” he said, as his regime and the Syrian opposition rejected the UN-sponsored peace plan approved in Geneva Saturday. debkafile also reports exclusively that Assad’s "new tactics" consist of retiring the top army command and replacing it with Shabiha thugs armed with an unheard-of level of fire power. Syrian-Turkish border tension continues to climb.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 30, 2012
Aviation Week reports: “Evidence is mounting that the US defense community and the Obama administration view 2013 as the likely window for a bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear and missile facilities.” The chaos of the Syrian government’s fall could be used “to disguise such an attack,” the journal suggests. “The tools…are all operational.” Friday night, top US and Russian diplomats failed to bridge differences on Syria ahead of a UN-sponsored Action Group parley in Geneva. Military preparations are building up for an attack on Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 28, 2012
Saying “An Islamist flood threatens us all, the Russian president put before the Israeli prime minister propositions of a secret conduit through Moscow to Tehran and help for mending Turkish-Israeli relations in return for a Russian stake in Mediterranean oil.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 23, 2012
Syria Friday shot down the Turkish Super Phantom jet with the sophisticated self-propelled medium range anti-air Pantsur-1 missile recently supplied by Russia. Short of time to master the improved missile system, the Syrian crews would have called on their Russian instructors to help launch them. debkafile: Moscow and Damascus may have decided to stop the almost daily Turkish air force flights over the Syrian coast for spying on Russian arms deliveries through the Russian bases of Tartus and Latakia.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 22, 2012
Syria apologized for the downing of a Turkish military F-4 over Syrian territorial water Friday, June 22. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan denied receiving an apology. Before going into an emergency meeting of government and military heads, he said it was not clear how the plane was lost. Hizbalah’s media reported it was ambushed by Syrian anti-air missiles. debkafile: This was Syria’s revenge for a Syrian air force pilot’s defection with his MiG-21 Thursday, which Damascus believes was organized by US and Turkish intelligence.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 2, 2012
Two radical developments arising from the Syrian conflict are revealed by debkafile: In an astonishing about face, Turkey has abandoned its 14-month support for the Syrian revolt alongside the West and made common cause with Russia, i.e. Bashar Assad. Further exacerbating fears of a “proxy war” involving Israel, Iran and Syria, the Lebanese Hizballah is preparing to transfer its Scud D missiles, capable of hitting any point in Israel, from Syria to Lebanon. Israel has threatened to stop their crossing by force.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 22, 2012
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 11, 2012
Foreign intervention in Syria is expanding, hemming the Assad regime in with escalating bombing attacks, rebels armed with heavy weapons or a 17-nation special forces “exercise” across the border in Jordan. How will his backers in Tehran and Moscow react?
Turkey and Saudis Chart Joint Syria Campaign - Possibly in Sync with Potential Israeli Strike on Iran
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2012
Saudi Arabia and Turkey agree to set up a joint command for coordinating preparations for a combined invasion of Syria and the creation of buffer zones protected by their air forces. Ankara is putting pressure on NATO to help defend Turkish borders against Iranian reprisal. Both partners plus France want American to jump in too.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 5, 2012
Tehran, Moscow and Ankara are deeply concerned by the joint US-Israeli-Greek naval exercise this week. They are also troubled by the just signed secret Israeli-Cypriot-Greek Mediterranean energy cooperation pact, for control of which the US has beaten Russia to the draw. Russia and Turkey have staged their own naval maneuvers as counter-measures.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 29, 2012
The US President has tacitly indicated to the Iranian leader that if elected to a second term he will have more room for maneuver and a freer hand for pursuing policies agreed in their back-channel dialogue. So please, Iranian officials, speak more kindly about America.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 22, 2012
China and Pakistan are profiting hugely from sanctions-busting financial services to Iran, while Russia, India and Turkey also help cushion Tehran against the depredations of sanctions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 29, 2012
US President Barack Obama Tuesday, Feb. 28, vetoed plans submitted to him last week for Western-Arab military intervention in the Syrian crisis, debkafile reports. He is weighing an alternative plan for setting up “humanitarian corridors” in the most embattled areas. That too would be contingent on Russian endorsement, because Obama believes Moscow holds the key to Assad’s consent - or at least abstention from sending his army to attack the aid routes. No Russian response as yet to feelers from Washington.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2012
Military preparations for intervention in the horrendous Syrian crisis are quietly afoot in Washington, Paris, Rome, London and Ankara. President Barack Obama is poised for a final decision after the Pentagon submits operational plans for protecting Syrian rebels and beleaguered populations, debkafile reports. The deaths of two notable journalists helped galvanize the West into action. They died after Syrian artillery located their secret press center in Homs with the help of Russian spy satellites or Iranian electronic measures - and gutted it.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 17, 2012
Middle East capitals are puzzled by the Obama administration’s willingness to cast the Arab bloc and its Syrian concerns aside and collaborate with Turkey on the Assad issue. Why is non-Arab Turkey the blue-eyed boy in Washington and not the Gulf Arabs? The answer in some Middle East capitals is that President Obama trusts Ankara to open his diplomatic door to Tehran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 11, 2012
Western intelligence sources reporting in real time concluded Saturday night, Feb. 11 that Bashar Assad's loyal forces had by and large managed to subdue the rebellion against the regime, even though flare-ups are still to come. They are now purging the last pockets of resistance, especially in Syria's third largest city, Homs. The Syrian ruler will go on record as crushing his own people with the help of non-Arab Iran and Russia. For the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia this is a contretemps.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 10, 2012
A successful joint exercise carried out Friday, Feb. 10, demonstrated the interoperability of the US Aegis and Israel's Arrow 2 Block 4 ballistic missile defense systems and, most importantly, of their radar systems: the two US AN/TPY-2 X-band stations in Israel's Negev and Turkey's Kurecik air base, and Israel's new EL/M-2080 Super Green Pine. debkafile's military sources report the test proved to be a key milestone in the development of the US missile shield's Middle East capabilities ahead of a potential war with Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 10, 2012
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyin Erdogan has an ambitious new plan for a combined coalition effort to end the violence in Syria. But it all depends on President Obama's willingness to back it up with an air and naval umbrella against Syrian missile and air might backed by the Russian navy. The US president is in no hurry to jump in.