DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 24, 2015
President Barack Obama will arrive in Riyadh Tuesday, Jan. 27 with the First Lady, to offer US condolences on the death of King Abdullah and hold his first formal conference with Salman Bin Abdulaziz as King of Saudi Arabia. He must clear the air most urgently on Riyadh’s flat opposition to the multilateral nuclear deal taking shape with Iran; persuade Salman to slow oil production so as to curb plunging oil prices; and decide together how to handle Yemen’s fall into the hands of Shiite Houthi rebels backed by Iran.
Oil markets seek stability under new Saudi King Salman. A short price spurt followed Abdullah’s death
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 23, 2015
The new Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz pledged continuity for the kingdom’s oil and other policies in his first speech Friday, Jan. 23, following the death of his half-brother King Abdullah. The late king, a strong, shrewd and measured ruler, navigated the kingdom on a steady course in a turbulent neighborhood. He also made sure the succession would be smooth, swift and safe for the long term. Abdullah was also largely responsible for plunging oil prices by refusing to cut production. King Salman will have to stand up to heavy arm-twisting bythe US, Iran and Russia for ending this policy.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 6, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry put before Israelis and Palestinians Thursday, Dec. 5, a new security plan combining the US war on al Qaeda with the security provisions promised Israel in a settlement with the Palestinians, debkafile reports exclusively. Israeli and Palestinian units would be integrated in a planned regional US-led force for securing parts of Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Palestinian territory and Israel against terror. It would consist also of US, British, French, Saudi, Jordanian and Egyptian units. Netanyahu was open to the idea; Abbas had reservations.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 25, 2013
Moscow and Tehran are capitalizing on President Barack Obama's withdrawal of US forces from the Middle East and his maneuvers for avoiding military involvement in its trouble spots. Russia is quietly riding piggy-back on Iran's overt drive for influence in Cairo, hoping to recover the high standing enjoyed by the Soviet Union up until 1972. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have sent their aides to Cairo to coordinate their moves.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 18, 2012
Tehran has shifted its expansionist focus from Bahrain to punishing Saudi Arabia for backing the Syrian rebels fighting Bashar Assad. Iran is hitting the Saudis through their back door by buying up South Yemeni anti-government rebels.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 24, 2012
John Brennan held high-powered talks in Sanaa the day before Al Qaeda’s massive attack killed 100 Yemeni soldiers. It was carried out by a dozen AQAP recruits from Yemen’s Central Security Force working as undercover jihadists.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 9, 2012
Word of upgraded underwear bombing devices and double agents should never have been released because without inside intelligence, the key PETN explosive is undetectable by airport security scanners. Running double agents inside terrorist cells is the most tricky and hazardous of undercover operations because no one ever has the whole picture. Compromising the penetration of al Qaeda’s Yemen cell has therefore caused inestimable damage to the counter-terror efforts against al Qaeda. Hence the dismay in US intelligence agencies on both these counts.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 26, 2012
By early March, the US will have amassed 100,000 troops within reach of Iran, roughly equal to the 2003 Iraq invasion force, and enough to back up Barack Obama's pledge to stop Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb with military force.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 7, 2011
The consensus of US and Western intelligence chiefs at their closed door meeting in Langley was that NATO should count itself out of further military interventions in Arab uprisings in the coming year – especially in Syria - after its mistakes in Libya. Reliance on Turkey was seen as a letdown. The Yemeni crisis was judged more dangerous to broader regions of the Middle East and East Africa than the Syrian conflict.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 7, 2011
A Saudi tip-off gave the CIA led its drone to strike the convoy carrying two American al Qaeda operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. The price tag: Washington must let Abdullah Ali Saleh return to Yemen without making a fuss. The White House welcomed this first sign of a thaw in the frosted-over Saudi-US relations.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 30, 2011
The tip-off which enabled two Hellfire missiles fired by US drones to locate and kill the US-born Anwar al-Awkali reached US intelligence as a result of a power struggle within Al Qaeda's leadership in Yemen. Killed too was a second US-born al Qaeda operative. debkafile's counter-terror sources disclose that the internal strife was sharpened by the recent arrival in Yemen of the new Al Qaeda leader Ayman Zuwahiri, who determined to purge AQAP ranks of its American element ahead of his next plans.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 22, 2011
After persuading Ali Saleh to step down as Yemeni president, Saudi King Abdulla got down to setting up a unified Yemeni military offensive against the Houthis threatening the Saudi border. Washington assigns higher priority to tackling Al Qaeda.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 12, 2011
The extremist Somali rebel Al Shabaab exited Mogadishu to escape the famine, regroup after lost battles and asses its relations with al Qaeda. Some militia leaders urge reconciliation with Saudi Arabia; others stronger ties with al Qaeda's Yemeni leader Anwar al-Awlak. Either way, it is too soon for Mogadishu to celebrate.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 8, 2011
Al Qaeda is carving out a roomy operations base in South Yemen, while Iranian Al Qods officers are helping Houthi rebels take over the north. Talks with the opposition are at an impasse as President Ali Abdullah Saleh, still recuperating in Riyadh from an attempt on his life, insists on staying in power to control the transition.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 24, 2011
Only two Arab autocrats have succumbed to six popular uprisings: four have survived. NATO's score in Libya is zero to one as Europe's war sustainability is hit by the falling euro Two countries are in the grip of civil war and two undergoing partition. Yet Barack Obama is grimly determined to complete his Arab regime change mission.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 26, 2011
The Saudis plan to carve out a new Arab republic in southern Yemen under their thumb and let civil war divide the country in two. They have dumped Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and US objectives in the country.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 13, 2011
In Syria, Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan is up against Iran's al-Qods boss, Maj.-Gen. Qassem Suleimani in backing the revolt against the Assad regime for which Tehran has lined up support. Bandar's cameras are recording Assad's brutalities. In Yemen, the positions are reversed: Bandar has been helping President Abdullah Ali Saleh cling to power against pro-Iranian violence to unseat him.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2011
Saudi-US disagreements have solidified for the first time in King Abdullah's decision to put their policy arguments behind him and go for action independent of the US. His first move was to freeze his $60 billion arms purchases from America. His second: to encourage the Yemeni ruler to defy Washington. The blow to American pockets as well as prestige is disastrous: For decades, Saudi Arabia has been the top buyer of American military hardware
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 4, 2011
As protesters prepare for Saudi Arabia's Day of Rage on March 11, fears grow across the Arab Gulf that the fall of Saudi King Abdullah will start a chain reaction against the emirs too and rock the world's oil markets.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 25, 2011
The Middle East and North Africa are beset with two civil wars, have brought to power two military juntas, imperil seven regimes, including Pakistan and provided Al Qaeda with fresh fields to conquer.