DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 1, 2011, 10:35 PM (GMT+02:00)
After failing in Libya, Russia's Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev are determined not to let Syria, Moscow's only strategic partner in the Middle East, slip out of their hands. If Bashar Assad can't be saved, Moscow wants to be sure Damascus does not fall completely under Western sway.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 27, 2011, 6:44 PM (GMT+02:00)
Twenty-four hours before the Arab League Sunday, Nov. 27, clamped down sanctions on the Assad regime, the first ever against a member state, the armies of Syria's seven neighbors were already scrambling into position on standby for retaliation. debkafile: Israeli armored brigades moved up to the Lebanese and Syrian borders; Ankara placed three armored brigades, its air force and navy on the ready, likewise Hizballah and the Lebanese and Jordanian armed forces. Russia is sending Bashar Assad siege-breaking missiles.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 25, 2011, 9:29 AM (GMT+02:00)
First, Hizballah reported the unmasking of a CIA network in Lebanon. Then, Wednesday, Nov. 23, an Iranian lawmaker Parviz Sorouri, a member of the Iranian parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee, claimed the capture of 12 CIA spies targeting Iran's military and its nuclear program with the Mossad and regional agencies. Beirut and Tehran had clearly joined forces, debkafile report, to prove they were on top of their security and had smashed dangerous US intelligence networks operating inside their armed forces.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 25, 2011, 12:00 AM (GMT+02:00)
Russia has handed Syria top-of-line weapons for beating foreign measures for undermining Bashar Assad. Iran footed the bill for those purchases and will certainly earmark some for its Revolutionary Guards and Hizballah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 18, 2011, 12:48 AM (GMT+02:00)
The Arab League was not first to make the Syrian crisis a regional concern. Big power rivalry got there first. The US and France, like the Sunni rulers, seek Bashar Assad's downfall, while Russia and China are propping him up as their firewall for the Islamic regime in Tehran.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 16, 2011, 12:59 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Assad regime suffered a shock Wednesday Nov.16 when self-styled "Free Syrian Army" deserters firing shoulder-borne rockets and heavy machine guns struck its biggest security complex at Harasta west of Damascus. This was the first rebel attack on a major strategic target and a potential game-changer. debkafile: It was undoubtedly part of a well-laid plan drawn up by Turkey, the Persian Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Jordan to topple Iran's closest ally, Bashar Assad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 13, 2011, 8:42 AM (GMT+02:00)
The potential for a regional flare-up shot up Friday and Saturday, Nov-11-12, with the blasts at two Iranian arms bases which killed at least 32 Revolutionary Guards men including Iran's top missile expert, and the Arab League Foreign Ministers' decision to suspend Syria's membership over Bashar Assad's brutal military crackdown on civilians. Even he understands what the AL means by threatening "more steps to protect Syrian civilians." Middle East capitals are on edge for the next acts in the Iranian-Syrian crises.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 4, 2011, 1:35 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Lebanese Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah has briefed his unit commanders on updated operational plans for firing 10,000 rockets at Tel Aviv and Israel's air force and reserve mobilization bases in a surprise attack, debkafile's military sources report. "The Zionist enemy cannot stand up to a salvo on that scale," he said and assured them that Hizballah is capable of fighting Israel without Iranian or Syrian help. To boost morale, Nasrallah disclosed the arrival of advanced weapons from Libya and unveiled plans to capture parts of Galilee.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 4, 2011, 1:33 AM (GMT+02:00)
It is feared in Jerusalem that the war will develop from a Syrian-Hizballah attack on Israel. If the US opts out of a strike against Iran, it will be left to Israel to do the job singlehanded.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 1, 2011, 1:21 PM (GMT+02:00)
The disclosure Tuesday, Nov. 1, by the International Atomic Energy Agency - that a spinning factory built in the northeastern Syrian town of Hasaka in 2003 was in fact an enriched uranium site - had a purpose: To crowd Bashar Assad into talking to the leaders of the revolt against him instead of slaughtering them. debkafile's intelligence sources report that although the NATO commander firmly denied an alliance role in Syria, NATO is already there – and not just members like Turkey.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 30, 2011, 7:23 AM (GMT+02:00)
Sunday morning, Oct. 30, Jihad Islami denied knowledge of a truce Egypt called for 0600 Sunday morning. By 0700 hours it had launched eleven Grad missiles and two mortar rounds from the Gaza Strip at Ashdod, Gan Yavne, Lahavim, Ashkelon and Shear Hanegev. This was the second day of its massive assault. Saturday, more than 35 missiles, most heavy Grads, battered eight towns, killed an Israel and injured seven. Schools there are closed Sunday amid a high security alert.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 28, 2011, 10:06 AM (GMT+02:00)
In the last 48 hours, the Syrian engineering corps has laid minefields along the Jordanian, Turkish borders to cut down on the influx of weapons and armed manpower supporting the anti-Assad opposition and the outflow of army deserters. debkafile's military sources add: By this action, Syria also aims to seal itself off against foreign military intervention. Since Muammar Qaddafi's death, Bashar Assad fears he is facing Arab military incursions backed by NATO.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 28, 2011, 12:16 AM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran has come around to deciding that Bashar Assad will have to be forced out of the Syrian presidency and may be willing to join forces with the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to accomplish this – provided the foursome can get past a whole thicket of animosities.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 28, 2011, 12:16 AM (GMT+02:00)
Iran and Hizballah declare NATO would never attack Syria, yet they are making military preparations for this very eventuality. Syria's only option to stem arms smuggling to the opposition is to seize large parts of Lebanon and Jordan, thus provoking a NATO assault.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 17, 2011, 5:42 PM (GMT+02:00)
Has Syrian President Bashar Assad started murdering his own generals? Three have disappeared. One body was discovered in hospital riddled with bullets and may have been liquidated by rebels. After quelling mass demonstrations, the regime faces rising opposition guerilla attacks. Fearing a descent into civil war, the Allawites and Druzes have formed armed militias to protect their domains. Strapped for cash by sanctions, the Assad regime is borrowing from Iranian banks.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 10, 2011, 9:15 AM (GMT+02:00)
Five days after defeating a Western-backed UN Security Council resolution condemning Bashar Assad's savagery against his opposition, Moscow turned the heat on him by inviting an opposition delegation for a visit Monday, Oct. 10 and offering to host talks between the Syrian government and the opposition umbrella Syrian National Council. Syrian Foreign Minister Wallid Moallem threatened unspecified "tough measures" against any countries recognizing the council, fearing a repeat of the Libyan rebel NTC exercise which toppled Muammar Qaddafi.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 8, 2011, 6:11 PM (GMT+02:00)
Targeted assassinations now dominate Bashar Assad's savage confrontation with the popular opposition to his rule. The White House finally told the Syrian ruler to step down for the first time as 50,000 Syrian Kurds clashed with security forces at the funeral of the popular Kurdish leader Mashaal Tammo, 53, slain by masked men at his home in Qamishli, northern Syria Friday, Oct. 7. debkafile: The killers were members of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence Directorate acting on direct orders from Assad.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 7, 2011, 1:14 AM (GMT+02:00)
Israel and Turkey embarked on large-scale mobilization maneuvers near Syrian borders Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 5-6 and the Jordanian armed forces were urged by the US and Turkey to follow suit. But Bashar Assad decided that having to build up his forces on two Syrian borders was enough. He sent a messenger to threaten Jordan's King Abdullah that if he staged an exercise, the Syrian air force would bomb Jordanian towns and if Israel intervened, he would attack them with missiles.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 7, 2011, 12:56 AM (GMT+02:00)
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 4, 2011, 5:03 PM (GMT+02:00)
War tensions between Turkey, NATO and Syria shot up again Tuesday, Oct. 4, with the announcement from Ankara that Turkey embarks Wednesday on a 10-day "mobilization" exercise in the southern province of Hatay along the Syrian borderwhere 7,000 Syrian refugees are sheltering. A visit by the Turkish prime minister is also expected. Earlier, debkafile reported exclusively that Bashar Assad had been threatening for three months to destroy Tel Aviv within six hours of an attack on Syria.