DEBKAfile Special Report March 31, 2014, 8:16 AM (GMT+02:00)
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Sunday March 30 instructed Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s supreme commander in Europe, to set out at once from Washington to Brussels for consultations with alliance commanders on a possible Russian invasion of Moldova’s Russian-speaking breakaway enclave of Transnistria, after Crimea. Chairs of both US House and Senate Intelligence Committees report Russian forces massed on Ukrainian borders, as well as covert forces inside the country. Some reports claim a Russian buildup in South Ossetia too for a possible thrust into Armenia.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 7, 2014, 1:05 AM (GMT+02:00)
The US delivers assault helicopters in special airlift to Israel and places its Middle East forces on high alert, especially in the Mediterranean. Russian armed forces also remain on combat readiness.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 8, 2013, 12:19 AM (GMT+02:00)
Kerry’s mission was to soften Saudi and Israeli mistrust of the Obama administration’s intentions on Iran and Syria. The Israeli and Saudi leaders refused to be placated.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 4, 2013, 1:08 AM (GMT+02:00)
Putin has devised a complex game of diplomatic ping pong for pushing through understandings with Obama first to resolve the Syrian chemical crisis and currently to settle the nuclear controversy with Iran. DEBKA Weekly reveals how it works.
The sarin shells fired on Damascus - by Syrian 4th Division’s 155th Brigade - were followed by rockets on Israel and car bombings in Lebanon
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 24, 2013, 11:32 AM (GMT+02:00)
Within 48 hours, Assad and Iran launched a three-point punitive offensive for foreign intervention in the Syrian war, debkafile reports. The facts: The sarin nerve gas shells which claimed more than 1,000 Syrian lives Wednesday, Aug. 21, were fired by the 155th Brigade of the Syrian army’s 4th Division commanded by Gen. Maher Assad from Mount Kalmun. This atrocity was followed by a rocket attack on Israel from Lebanon and deadly blasts in Tripoli. The price for not stopping Assad and Tehran now is likely to become even grimmer.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 22, 2013, 9:53 AM (GMT+02:00)
By two comments, Israel confirmed Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 21 and 22, that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons on civilians in the region of Damascus – the first came from Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who said "The use of chemical weapons by the regime is not a first,” and the second from Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, who reported corroborative intelligence. Yet no one anywhere admits that Syria, any more than Iran, has crossed US and Israeli red lines and that this necessitates direct action.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 2, 2013, 9:36 AM (GMT+02:00)
Egypt’s Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will run for president – possibly before the end of the year, debkafile reports exclusively. He plans to launch a short election campaign on August 15. Untroubled by US and European criticism, the general is restoring the Egyptian army to political center. And like former presidents Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak, he will repress the Muslim Brotherhood. Washington’s answer is the appointment as ambassador to Cairo of former envoy to Damascus Robert Ford, who excelled in building ties with the Syrian opposition.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 10, 2013, 2:23 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Obama administration’s slowcoach policy on Syria has given Iran and Hizballah unfettered access to intervene in the Syrian civil war, magnifying its lethality and prospects of its spilling over into Israel, Turkey and Jordan, says debkafile. It will further deteriorate when Washington’s expectations of an international conference are not recprocated by Moscow.
White House to Congress: Assad has used chemical weapons. Israeli jets down Hizballah drone opposite Haifa
DEBKAfile Special Report April 25, 2013, 6:56 PM (GMT+02:00)
In a striking reversal, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in Abdu Dhabi Thursday, April 25, that US intelligence now believes the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its own people.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 23, 2013, 7:13 PM (GMT+02:00)
Red lines have been flattened by Iran’s rapid progress toward a nuclear weapon and by Bashar Assad’s mockery, backed by Tehran, of US President Barack Obama’s warning that “proof of chemical weapons use would be a game changer.” Two Israeli ex-intelligence chiefs Tuesday, April 23 underlined Israel-US differences.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 23, 2013, 9:04 AM (GMT+02:00)
Israel’s chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz warned Monday, April 22, that tribal and ethnic warfare on the scale of Afghanistan awaited Syria. debkafile: Two heavily armed Hizballah combat brigades are fighting for Bashar Assad south of Homs.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 21, 2013, 11:24 PM (GMT+02:00)
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s Middle East trip was supposed to present the $10 billion US arms sales to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE as a signal for deterring a nuclear Iran. The Boston bombings shifted the onus of his trip to Syria and al Qaeda. Russian cooperation was a vital source of intelligence for nabbing the two bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Friday, April 19. Russian President Vladimir Putin will almost certainly claim his quid pro quo in Syrian currency.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 18, 2013, 11:47 PM (GMT+02:00)
Although Obama has approved the deployment of 200 US troops to Jordan, no one knows whether he will order enough military strength to save King Abdullah if his kingdom comes under Syrian attack.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 17, 2013, 10:23 PM (GMT+02:00)
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Wednesday, April 17, that 200 troops of the US 1st Armored Division had been sent to Jordan to give the United States the ability to "potentially form a joint task force [with Jordan] for military operations, if ordered" by the President. debkafile’s military sources report that they are ranged on the Jordanian-Syrian border to counter a potential Syrian attack. In a potential war between Syria and Jordan backed by US troops, Israel would almost certainly become involved.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 11, 2013, 10:34 AM (GMT+02:00)
US and South Korean armed forces went on the highest level of alert - Watchcon 2 - Thursday, April 11, ready for multiple launches after at least one North Korean ballistic Musudan missile was sighted fueled and ready to launch at any moment. Some Western intelligence sources attribute Pyongyang’s saber-rattling to a power struggle ongoing between Kim Jong-Un’s military backers and the generals who judge him unfit for the top command. He may order a missile launch to assert his authority against his detractors.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 7, 2013, 9:57 PM (GMT+02:00)
For the first time, two terrorist organizations, al Qaeda and Hizballah, have acquired unconventional arms. Al Qaeda and affiliates are in position for bio-chemical strikes from Syria on five Middle East countries.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 6, 2013, 6:55 AM (GMT+02:00)
When Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon Tuesday, March 5, he heard for the first time in years American criticism of the Israeli army for under-reacting – in this case to the chemical weapons threat emanating from Syria. Israel was also berated for under-estimating this menace and failing to take into account the likely need to send troops into Syria. Barak received official US confirmation that chemical weapons had reached HIzballah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 2, 2013, 5:29 PM (GMT+02:00)
debkafile reports: The collapse of Bashar Assad’s defense lines on the Israeli and Jordanian borders has left a large Syrian expanse of no-man’s land and generated a new strategic situation of major import for both Israel and Jordan. Defense Minister Ehud Barak hopes to align positions with the US on this matter when he meets Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon next Tuesday. Most observers doubt this outcome, given the Obama administration’s decision to pass the Syrian question to Moscow.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 27, 2013, 6:38 AM (GMT+02:00)
UK Premier David Cameron has been pushing US, French and Israeli leaders to accept that an Iranian nuclear bomb capacity is too real to stop and sanctions are futile. Publication of an active Iranian plutonium bomb plan Tuesday, Feb. 26, was aimed at selling the Cameron contention to incoming US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on the day of his endorsement. Equally, rumors of Hassan Nasrallah’s terminal cancer – vehemently denied by Hizballah – will not put a spoke in Russian-Iranian plans for Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 15, 2013, 1:13 AM (GMT+02:00)
Jerusalem is unhappy about Obama’s new appointments to his Middle East desks. They are uniformly anti-interventionist, anti-military engagement and unsympathetic to Israel’s security concerns.