DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 30, 2016
Arab media described Israeli warplanes attacking targets in and around Damascus overnight Tuesday, Nov. 29, as firing “four long-range Popeye” missiles from Lebanese air space on a Syrian army compound in Damascus and a Hizballah arms convoy on the highway to Beirut. If confirmed, this action will have repercussions, since it heralded the breakdown of initial Trump-Putin understandings for Syria and Israel's decision to go it alone..
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2016
Obama and Putin are jointly supporting the return of the Golan Heights to Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 7, 2016
Moscow and Washington realize they can’t rely on Syrian or Iraqi troops to follow through in any major offensive against ISIS in Raqqa or Mosul and so they are moving forward in slow steps.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 27, 2016
Vladimir Putin after all took the momentous decision for Russian carpet bombing to level the Islamic State forces holding Palmyra since last May and so clear the way for Bashar Assad’s troops and allied forces to enter the heritage city Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27 and take control of several districts. He acted more in Moscow’s interest than in the Syrian ruler’s. Palmyra’s fall would consolidate and expand Russia’s grip on Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 24, 2016
Putin is punishing Assad for obstructing a Syrian political solution in Geneva by holding back air support from his army’s operations until he toes the line.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 10, 2016
Tehran was seriously affronted by the Putin-Obama rapprochement and most of all by Moscow’s consent to a Syrian ceasefire ahead of winding down the war, in place of their original deal for Russian intervention to support the war until Bashar Assad was victorious.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 5, 2016
Turkey and Saudi Arabia have taken separate steps to break free from Washington’s dictates on the Syrian issue and show their resistance to Russia’s highhanded intervention in Syria. They are moving on separate tracks to signal their defiance and frustration with the exclusive pact between Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin which ostracizes Riyadh and Ankara on the Syrian question. Turkey, saddled with three million Syrian refugees, is desperate for a no-fly, security zone to shelter them on Syrian soil.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 3, 2016
Putin’s “ceasefire” military plans bring the Syrian army and Hizballah ever closer to the Turkish border and will repeat the same exercise for asserting control of the Israeli border in the south.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 12, 2016
An agreement for the cessation of hostilities in Syria was announced in Munich early Friday, Feb. 12. This accord, defined by Secretary of State John Kerry as “words on paper” subject to implementation, provided a formal framework for the existing US-Russian military collaboration in Syria, and a stamp for the secret Obama-Putin deal concluded in December for ending the war and shaping Syria’s future
DEBKAfile Special Report February 6, 2016
The five-year old Syrian civil war faces its most critical moment. Saturday, Feb. 6, a combined force of Syrian army and Hizballah troops and an Iraqi Shiite militia under Iranian officers, were led by Russian air and Spetsnaz (special forces) officers into pressing forward to encircle 35,000 rebels trapped in Aleppo, the country’s largest city. The biggest refugee exodus of the Syrian war is blocked at the Turkish border. Moscow hints it will fight off any US, Saudi or Turkish interference.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 4, 2016
The US and Russia have mobilized Britain, France, Germany and Holland for their coming air blitz to burn the ISIS Raqqa HQ in Syria to the ground – preferably by July 1. First they are acting to cut off ISIS escape route to Mosul.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 25, 2016
The US and Russia are in the process of a military buildup in the Kurdish areas of northern Syria. It is ranged along a narrow strip of land 85 km long, stretching from Hassakeh in the east up to the Kurdish town of Qamishli on the Syrian-Turkish border. Facing them from across that border is a parallel buildup of Turkish strength. This highly-charged convergence of three foreign armies along a tense borderland is reported here by debkafile’s military sources. It is too soon to determine whether the three are operating in sync or at odds.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 23, 2016
President Barack Obama resolved earlier this month, much to the surprise of Washington insiders, to open a third anti-terror front in Libya to eradicate the Islamic Front’s tightening grip on the country. This top-secret decision was first revealed by DEBKA Weekly 692 on Jan. 1. For this campaign, he formed a new coalition with Russia and EU governments. This weekend, the first US, Russian, French and Italian Special Forces quietly landed at a point south of Tobruk, after 1,000 British SAS troops had prepared the ground.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 21, 2016
To save the nuclear accord, the US must fight Iran’s avowed mistrust and resist its attempts to collaborate with Russia to push the United States out of the Middle East.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 21, 2015
The northern Syria battlefield close to the Turkish border will have a greater impact on determining Syria’s future than any Security Council resolution. A very large mixed bag of combatants consists of Russia, the Kurdish YPG militia, most of the important rebel groups - including radical Sunni organizations tied to Al Qaeda, such as the Nusra Front and Ahram al-Sham - not to mention Iran and Shiite Hizballah and the jihadist Islamic State. So long as no one gains the upper hand, there will be progress in the talks starting next month for ending the war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 17, 2015
While the chief of staff wants to focus on fighting ISIS because he believes that the Russian presence in Syria will keep Israel safe from Iran and Hizballah, the defense minister wants to smash Assad to break the Iranian-Hizballah collaboration against Israel as the greater peril.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 17, 2015
The Russian Baghdad command is collaborating closely with Iran and its Shiite militias over the Ramadi operation for updated intelligence on American movements in Iraq.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 16, 2015
After two tries, US Secretary of State John Kerry finally turned President Barack Obama away from his insistence that Bashar Assad must go before the Syrian conflict can end. Tuesday night, Dec. 15, the Secretary announced in Moscow: “The United States and our partners are not seeking so-called regime change.” debkafile: Washington yielded to Moscow three days before a major international conference on Syria takes place in New York. But the US also yielded to Tehran, when the UN nuclear watchdog's board in Vienna closed its investigation into whether Iran sought atomic weapons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 10, 2015
The US is building its first air base on Syrian soil at the disused Abu Hajar airport in northern Kurdish territory. It will reduce flying time for air strikes against the ISIS capitals, Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 11, 2015
Russia is deepening its military intervention in the Syrian conflict with reinforcements of combat helicopters and its first “volunteer” ground forces, according to intelligence reports reaching debkafile from southern Russia and the Crimea. With these reinforcements, Russia will take the lead of the slow-moving Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah campaigns against the Islamic State and insurgent advances on the Homs and Idlib front lines. The first Russian combat helicopters have already been moved out of Latakia to Syrian air bases in Homs and Hama.