DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 7, 2013
Hizballah is surreptitiously withdrawing thousands of fighting men from Syria after an intervention for saving the Assad regime. debkafile: This withdrawal closes Tehran’s first successful experiment in fielding a surrogate force for determining the outcome of a war in an important strategic arena. Despite heavy losses, Hizballah comes out toughened by combat experience and seasoned in running regular military units in battle under combined Iranian-Syrian command. The Lebanese Shiites have won a tactical advantage over the IDF which has not faced real combat since 2006.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 29, 2013
Western military sources predict an upsurge of tension this week along Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon, timed for Binyamin Netanyahu’s White House meeting with President Barack Obama Monday, Sept. 30, and his address to the UN General Assembly the next day, Oct. 1. Moscow, Tehran and Damascus may exploit Israel’s weak moment after being pushed out in the cold by the Obama administration’s pursuit of new relations with Tehran, by provoking Israel into a military response and presenting it as the neighborhood warmonger and disrupter of US-Russian diplomacy.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 25, 2013
Iranian President Rouhani avoided shaking President Barack Obama's hand at the UN Tuesday, Sept. 24 – not to rebuff diplomacy with the US but to underscore Iran’s demand for respect as an equal. In secret contacts with Tehran, Obama had already agreed to Iran keeping its enriched uranium stocks. This and other concessions give US Secretary of State John Kerry a flying start for his mission to lead diplomacy with Iran, at the same time as the Israeli-Palestinian track. The US president’s linkage of the two places Israel at a disadvantage.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 20, 2013
Russian leaders have picked apart the Kerry-Lavrov understanding for Syria’s chemical disarmament - less than a week after it was unveiled in Geneva. Thursday, Sept. 19, Vladimir Putin said he was not 100 percent certain the plan would succeed. His Defense minister Sergey Shoigu denied Russian plans to destroy Syria’s chemical stockpiles on its territory, while Bashar Assad mocked the option of their destruction in America. At the Security Council, Russia’s UN delegate blocked the measure for underpinning the deal, as Secretary of State John Kerry fought to retrieve it.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 19, 2013
As the Kerry-Lavrov deal unravels and Obama’s Iran diplomacy progresses, Syria looks like keeping the bulk of its chemical weapons and Iran its nuclear program.
The Syrian helicopter flight over Turkey fabricated first Assad obstacle to chemical weapons handover
DEBKAfile Special Report September 17, 2013
Bashar Assad’ sent a Syrian M-17 helicopter into Turkish air space Monday, Sept. 16, with deliberate intent. Ankara fell into the trap by sending the Turkish Air Force to down the intruder after it failed to heed several warnings, instead of chasing it back to Syria. The incident sent border tensions spiraling and gave Damascus and Moscow the pretext for backing out of the chemical weapons deal under the oversight of the Organizaton for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, so long as the OPCW was headed by a Turkish official.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 15, 2013
US President Barack Obama did not wait for the Kerry-Lavrov agreement of Saturday, Sept. 14, to demonstrate its feasibility for the eradication of Syria’s chemical weapons. He jumped in the next day to tell Tehran over ABC that “there’s the potential for diplomatic solutions to arms standoffs.” In Jerusalem, Secretary Kerry tried to defend the agreement against critics. Prime Minister Netanyahu insisted that diplomacy “must be coupled with a credible military threat." debkafile: The Obama administration won’t let Israel’s concerns slow its diplomatic momentum either on Syria or Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 12, 2013
DEBKA Weekly exclusively reveals the high points of the Obama-Putin-Iranian deal for Syria’s chemical weapons and its extrapolation for Iran’s nuclear program. While Obama agrees to starve the rebels of military support, he accepts massive Russian arms supplies to the Syrian army.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 12, 2013
President Obama believes that the recipe for forcing Syrian ruler, Bashar Assad to relinquish his weapons of destruction will work just as well for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, compelling him to give up the enriched uranium Tehran has accumulated for building a nuclear bomb.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 12, 2013
debkafile: The Western military armada built up opposite Syria in the past two weeks is breaking up as the US president’s resolve for military action faded under relentless pressure from Moscow. The British and French ships headed out Wednesday, Sept. 11, through the Suez Canal, and the American warships pulled back to waters between Crete and Cyprus. Obama has thus caved in on his original intention to keep the war armada in place for heat on Assad to comply with the Russian plan for the elimination of his chemical weapons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 11, 2013
After Iranian president Hassan Rouhani made the UN Assembly the stage for resumed nuclear talks, the US began lifting sanctions. debkafile discloses a US-Russian-Iranian deal is already in the bag following three weeks of secret trilateral exchanges for an agreed formula for defusing the Syrian chemical weapons issue without military force to provide the key to progress in direct nuclear talks between the US and Iran. Details of the deals they struck will be revealed for the first time in the next issue of DEBKA Weekly out Friday, Sept. 13.
Obama promised Putin not to strike Syria after scrapping its chemical arsenal. Russian arms for Assad
DEBKAfile Special Report September 10, 2013
President Barack Obama’s two climb-downs on a US strike against Syria are turning out to be part of a secret deal with Vladimir Putin, presented by the former as an accord for stripping Bashar Assad of his chemical arsenal, and used by the latter as an expedient for saving the Assad regime. Both were ready to sacrifice the Syrian rebel movement to their détente. But when Moscow insisted on pulling the teeth of a tough French-US-British draft resolution at the Security Council, the session scheduled for Tuesday was postponed indefinitely.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 10, 2013
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon have patted themselves on the back for a balanced and cautious stance that kept Israel secure during the Syrian conflict. However, President Barack Obama’s decision Tuesday, Sept. 10 to put US military action on hold leaves Israel exposed to a second major WMD threat: Bashar Assad keeps his chemical capability intact. An international control mechanism would take a year or more to put in place and meanwhile, Assad is off the hook for a crushing assault on Aleppo.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 10, 2013
President Barack Obama contradicted his advisers, Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, in a series of TV interviews early Tuesday, Sept. 10. He said he would put on hold military action against Syria, and delay the vote in Congress “for weeks,” to verify the Russian proposal for Assad to hand over his chemical arsenal to international control, and see if the Syrian issue can’t be solved without military action. “We know the capabilities of the Syrian army and that is no big problem for us,” Obama said.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 2, 2013
Senior IDF circles are concerned by the unrealistic mood of the country on New Year’s eve as though Israel and the US were fully coordinated on Syria and Hizballah and the danger of Syria repeating its chemical attack – this time on Israel – had receded. In fact, since US President Barack Obama aborted the US strike on Syria, Damascus and Hizballah have stepped up their threats to attack Israel in the coming weeks, prompting a warning from Netanyahu that “Anyone wishing to do us harm should know what awaits him.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 2, 2013
The Iranian parliamentarians visiting Damascus Sunday, Sept. 1, advised Bashar Assad to move his chemical stockpile out of Syria for temporary storage in Tehran under Iranian and Russian military supervision, so as to ward off an American military strike, debkafile reveals. Chairman of the Majlis Foreign Affairs Committee Ala-Eddin Borujerdi suggested destroying the chemical arsenal as an alternative. Tehran wants to prevent a US attack on Syria – both to conceal the Iranian provenance of the nerve agents and to avoid any precedent for a strike against Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 31, 2013
President Barack Obama shocked a tense world Saturday, Aug. 31, when he dodged a decision on a US strike on Syria by referring it to Congress. In a speech to the American people, he said the use of chemical weapons by Bashar Assad must be “confronted not just investigated,” but then said, “We are ready to strike whenever we choose. This operation could take place tomorrow, next week, or next month. In so saying, Obama granted Assad and Co. time galore for counter-moves and put Israel in a tight spot.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 30, 2013
Friday, Aug. 30, US Secretary of State John Kerry accused Bashar Assad of responsibility for poison gas attack on 11 Damascus sites on Aug. 21, causing 1,429 deaths, including 426 children. His words signaled the start of the countdown for the US military strike on Syria, which debkafile’s military sources estimate could be launched from this moment until US Labor Day on Sept. 2. America cannot look the other way, he said. He also cited US concern for the proximity to Syria of US friends Israel, Jordan and Turkey.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 30, 2013
The shock Thursday, Aug. 29, of David Cameron’s parliamentary defeat, knocking America’s foremost partner, Britain, out of the coming strike against Syria, highlighted American public opposition to the operation and criticism in the top US military command. The White House stressed the US would act unilaterally. Nonetheless, the Syrian conflict continues to be covered in confusion, much of it generated by the Obama administration’s conflicting policies. The breakdown of Obama’s coalition for Syria strikes at the heart of NATO and undermines US prestige in the Middle East.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 30, 2013
By promising to pull his punches, President Barack Obama gave America’s rivals, Russia, Iran and Syria the advantage in their bout over Syria – even before the punches were delivered.