DEBKAfile Special Report February 19, 2012, 6:30 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iran continues to behave as though it is calling the shots. The first formal announcement of the resumption of Iran-world powers nuclear talks (confirming debkafile’s exclusive) came from its Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Selahi who Sunday, Feb. 19, named the venue as Istanbul, Turkey. Saturday, two Iranian warships got away with delivering arms for Bashar Assad’s crackdown without US or Israeli interference. They docked at Tartus port Saturday alongside a Russian naval flotilla, symbolizing their joint effort to preserve Assad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 17, 2012, 1:36 AM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran was always willing to talk, less to listen. This time, Iran is preparing to enter into negotiations from a position of strength after demonstrating that US and European sanctions have not had the effect of blocking the bulk of its oil exports.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 17, 2012, 1:35 AM (GMT+02:00)
Russia needs a presence in Syria to promote its interests in the Middle East, to keep the lid on Caucasian unrest and to pave the way to challenge the United States in the global arena.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly February 14, 2012, 10:21 AM (GMT+02:00)
Bent on Bashar Assad’s ouster, the US and the Gulf Arab powers are swinging around an array of options – all of them military. The coming DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday weighs the chances of, say, an international militia, protected zones, a Western-Arab air umbrella for the Syrian resistance or, most probably, arming the Syrian Free Army with heavy weapons.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 13, 2012, 3:55 PM (GMT+02:00)
Saudi rulers, to save the Syrian opposition from defeat at Bashar Assad’s hands, are reported by debkafile’s intelligence sources as taking a hand in turning al Qaeda Iraqi cells loose against him. Saudi agents used their pull with Iraqi Sunnis to persuade al Qaeda leaders that Assad and his Alawite regime were their most dangerous foe and their overthrow the first Sunni priority. Al Qaeda’s Pakistan headquarters broadcast the same call-up. Up 1,000 al Qaeda jihadis reported now in Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 11, 2012, 10:24 PM (GMT+02:00)
Western intelligence sources reporting in real time concluded Saturday night, Feb. 11 that Bashar Assad's loyal forces had by and large managed to subdue the rebellion against the regime, even though flare-ups are still to come. They are now purging the last pockets of resistance, especially in Syria's third largest city, Homs. The Syrian ruler will go on record as crushing his own people with the help of non-Arab Iran and Russia. For the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia this is a contretemps.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 10, 2012, 12:33 AM (GMT+02:00)
Russia has a comprehensive long-term plan to overtake - or at least match - America as a world superpower and it therefore extends a helping hand to any Middle East and Arab power, principally Syria and Iran, willing to defy Washington. Moscow is also betting on Bashar Assad winning the Syrian ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 8, 2012, 1:35 PM (GMT+02:00)
British and Qatari special operations units are operating under cover with rebel forces in the Syrian city of Homs, debkafile’s exclusive sources report. They are not engaged in direct combat with the Syrian forces bombarding Syria's third largest city, but serve as tactical advisers and logistical aides. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is using this foreign military presence in Homs, revealed here for the first time, as grist for his own Syrian initiative.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 6, 2012, 3:35 PM (GMT+02:00)
US President Barack Obama, by asserting Sunday, Feb. 5, he doesn't think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran, sought to keep Israel away from military action and set aside as a strategic reserve, while using its threat of attack to bring Iran to the table. Monday, Feb. 6, Bashar Assad reportedly redoubled his deadly assault on Homs and, for the first time, Aleppo, taking advantage of the respite granted him by the Russian-Chinese veto. Syria is now a hub of the US-Iranian confrontation.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 5, 2012, 6:16 PM (GMT+02:00)
Syrian President Bashar Assad has hired hit squads to kill top Lebanese government, intelligence and security officials whom he suspects of helping insurrectionists and Saudi and Qatari agents smuggle fighters and weapons into the country to fight his regime. debkafile's counter-terror sources report that one Lebanese hit squad was captured and confessed to being armed and assigned by Syrian Military Intelligence to murder the two heads of Lebanese Internal Security by rigging bomb cars in Beirut. A second plot targeted a Lebanese lawmaker.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 4, 2012, 7:51 PM (GMT+02:00)
The West and Russia had a major showdown Saturday Feb. 5 over the Arab League resolution calling on Bashar Assad to step down. US President Barack Obama said the UN must take a stand against his "relentless brutality" and hold a vote before the end of the day. The vote was defeated by Russian and China vetoes. debkafile: Moscow backed its hard line against the West by putting Rapid Reaction Force (aka Spetsnaz) units on the ready to set out for Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 3, 2012, 12:22 AM (GMT+02:00)
To pierce the layers of armor devised by Syrian, Russian and Iranian strategists to keep Assad afloat, the Western-Arab bloc is recruiting top Syrian generals to march on Damascus and unseat the dictator.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly February 1, 2012, 2:15 PM (GMT+02:00)
An undercover operation to topple Bashar Assad has been set in motion by a large group of nations, the US, Britain, France, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar– the most elaborate of the Arab Spring cycle. The latest DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday has the details and weighs its chances of success. The operation aims to bypass the Russian veto stacked against any effective UN Security Council resolution for halting Syrian bloodshed by striking at Assad's support structure of loyal troops and Russian-Iranian backing.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 31, 2012, 7:23 PM (GMT+02:00)
Syrian President Bashar Assad is reported by Persian Gulf sources Tuesday, Jan. 31 to have confided to his advisers that he will start up a regional conflict if the UN Security Council calls on him to step down. The heads of the Syrian armed forces and intelligence have been given their orders. Other sources tell debkafile that the Russian flotilla in Tartus appears to be on alert and Sunday, a US nuclear submarine and destroyer sailed through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 30, 2012, 9:38 PM (GMT+02:00)
President Bashar Assad Sunday, Jan. 30, pulled in the Syrian Republican Guard and the 4th armored division commanded by his brother Maher Assad from the north to Damascus, debkafile reports exclusively. He deployed them in battle positions in the capital for the first time following an intelligence tipoff that one of the armored division commanders had been won over by Western powers and persuaded to stage a coup d'etat in time for Tuesday's UN Security Council meeting on Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 26, 2012, 9:47 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Syrian ruler is still fully in control in Damascus, contrary to the reports propagated by the opposition. He is still backed by the high army command and supported by Iran and Russia. The Assad regime will be in danger only if two of those three backers turn against ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 20, 2012, 12:18 AM (GMT+02:00)
Iran will avoid a full-dress confrontation with superior US military might and trust to pinpoint harassment and provocations to carry the day. Tehran believes the apparent US-Israeli rift it’s a subterfuge to camouflage US-Israel war preparations against its nuclear sites.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 20, 2012, 12:18 AM (GMT+02:00)
Bashar Assad, universally hated and despised for his brutality, is confounding predictions of his imminent downfall with the help of tactical, arms and propaganda assistance from Russia and Iran. Al Qods Commander Maj. Gen. Haj Qassem Soleimani directs the Iranian team in Damascus and military advisers attached to Syrian Army riot dispersal units. From Lebanon, Hizballah pumps out emergency reinforcements for the Syrian military.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 2, 2012, 9:30 AM (GMT+02:00)
As Arab League monitors fail in their mission to curb brutal regime violence in Syria and the ten-month popular defiance continues to rage, President Bashar Assad is digging in for a full-scale civil war: debkafile reports exclusively that a fortress is under construction for the Syrian ruler, family, his loyal generals and ruling elite in the northwestern Alawite (Al-Ansariyyah) Mountains. From there, the Assad clan will fight for survival should Damascus become too hot for them. Some Alawites have already deserted him.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 22, 2011, 11:44 PM (GMT+02:00)
As NATO cargo planes airlifted Libyan fighters to join the anti-Assad Free Syrian Army units in Turkey, Syrian forces armed with Russian spy satellite intelligence waylaid FSA rebels and deserters, killing them where they stood. A large-scale exercise prepares Syrian army to repel a combined offensive.