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.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 30, 2013
By sticking to Tomahawks as the only weapon for attacking Syria, Barack Obama reduces the list of targets and leaves Assad’s chemical arsenal, missiles, air force and regime unharmed.
Obama says no decision yet on strike on Syria. DEBKA: He stalls for deal with Putin on softened strike
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 29, 2013
Although Barack Obama had decided to attack Syria over its use of chemical weapons – either Friday-Saturday, Aug. 31, or after Labor Day of Sept. 2 - he now says there is no decision yet. debkafile: Obama is stalling in order to buy time for Secretary of State John Kerry to strike a secret deal with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: the US would soften its strike on Syria, reducing it to a token blow, following which the US and Russian presidents would announce the convening of Geneva-2 for ending the civil war.
Assad may hit back at Israel for US strike, trusting Obama to tie Israel’s hands against major reprisal
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 27, 2013
There is little logic in the Netanyahu government’s public assurances that the Syrian ruler Bashar Assad would not risk a major showdown with Israel for fear of an IDF response powerful enough to overthrow his regime. debkafile: President Barack Obama would not countenance an Israeli military strike against Syria disproportionate to a US operation, or capable of endangering Assad’s rule. Assad's Russian advisers have undoubtedly briefed him on Israel’s tied hands. However, even a limited US strike is likely to spread since Syria’s allies will not stand by idly.
Mid-East including Israel on high alert after Obama’s failed last-ditch bid for Syria deal with Iran
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 26, 2013
Monday night, Aug. 25, saw Middle East countries, including Israel, on high military alert after learning of US President Barack Obama’s failure to reach an understanding with Tehran to avert a US-led operation against Syria over its chemical attacks. debkafile: Obama’s two emissaries were Deputy UN Secretary Jeffrey Feltman and Sultan Qaboos of Oman. Tehran’s rebuff signaled orders to US military assets in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf to go on high preparedness. Iran, Russia and Syria redeployed in readiness for Syria to face attack.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 26, 2013
Five days late, UN team of experts Monday, Aug. 26, start scouring a site in eastern Damascus for shrapnel from the poison gas shells or rockets fired by the Syrian army’s 155th Brigade last Wednesday. debkafile: This was decided between the UN Secretariat and the White House Sunday night. They agreed that the only chance of finding evidence was to examine a targeted site or injured victims. Since, the latter are unavailable, the experts hope that even after a Syrian cleanup they may turn up shell fragments however microscopic.