US drone escapes attack over Hormuz. Syria threatens to bomb Lebanon. Russian marines dock in Beirut
DEBKAfile Special Report March 14, 2013, 10:52 PM (GMT+02:00)
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 Exclusive Report November 9, 2012, 11:09 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi confirmed Nov. 9 that two Iranian SU-25 jet fighters had fired at an unarmed US MQ-Predator drone over the Persian Gulf a week earlier. debkafile: In September, Tehran twice warned that US targets would be at risk if Israel struck Iranian interests. After an Iranian missile factory was bombed in Khartoum, Iran and Sudan pointed the finger at Israel. In consequence, on Nov. 1, Iranian fighters shot at – and missed – the US drone.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 11, 2012, 11:54 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Iranian drone was not brought down by an Israeli airborne missile. After a losing cyber battle with the drone’s Iranian remote controllers in Lebanon, Israel sent two helicopters up to draw a steel cable under the intruder, trap it and haul it down to earth. The drone landed ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 26, 2012, 11:36 PM (GMT+02:00)
If Iran really can copy the captured US spy drone and plumb its secret codes, this will have far-reaching implications for a potential US or Israel strike against its nuclear sites.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 9, 2012, 10:21 AM (GMT+02:00)
US, Russian, French and British air and naval forces are gathering around the Syrian and Iranian coasts on guard for fresh developments at the two Middle East flashpoints. The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov put in earlier than planned at Syria's Tartus port Sunday, Jan. 8, together with two more Russian warships. British and French naval craft head to the Persian Gulf, while the giant US RQ-4 Global Hawk drone has begun monitoring Iranian coastlines from the USS Stenning aircraft carrier.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 4, 2011, 9:34 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran latched onto US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's warning Friday, Dec. 2 that an Israeli strike at Iran's nuclear facilities would cause unpredictable results. Sunday, Iran issued two threats: to hit back beyond its borders for a US drone which its military claimed to have shot down in the east, and to force oil prices to soar to $250 a barrel if an embargo is imposed on its oil exports – a hint at a Strait of Hormuz blockade.