DEBKAfile Special Report May 5, 2013, 2:44 PM (GMT+02:00)
Syria's Faisal Mekdad said the strike at Syria overnight Sunday, May 5, represented a "declaration of war" by Israel. Russia Today claimed killed at least 300 members of the Syrian Army’s 501st Unit. debkafile: This unit operates the Mt. Qassioun chemical weapon facility.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 5, 2013, 9:06 AM (GMT+02:00)
Israeli rockets early Sunday, May 5, struck the Jamraya military research center just north of Damascus, causing powerful explosions. debkafile: The Israeli operation in Syria is ongoing as the Syrian army continues to pass Scud D and Fateh-110 missiles to Hizballah units fighting in Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2013, 11:09 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Syrian army’s 4th Division-Republican Guard cleared most of the rebels out of the eastern suburbs of Damascus Monday, April 8, debkafile reporst. Bashar Assad’s brother Maher at the head of the 4th Division, executed a surprise pincer movement spearheaded by tank and artillery fire, in time to impede the rebel advance on the center of Damascus and the international airport. This major operation is assumed to have been designed by Assad’s foreign advisers, Iranian or Russian, and averted a chemical attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 5, 2013, 12:42 AM (GMT+02:00)
The rebel fighters’ newly-acquired antitank guided missiles-ATGM (of both Russian and American manufacture) are knocking over the T-72 tanks of the 4th Republican Guard Division and the 3rd Division, the backbone of the capital’s defenses, while their portable MANPAD air defense systems have brought practically all takeoffs and landings ...
DEBKAfile Special Report February 12, 2013, 10:48 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tuesday night, Feb. 12, the Syrian Air Force began bombing the large al-Jarra air base which rebels led by Islamist battalions conquered near the northern city of Aleppo. Bashar Assad ordered his air force to destroy dozens of its own fighter-bombers: L-29 trainer planes, Sukhoi Su-22M bombers and Mig-23 interceptors. Their loss deprives the Syrian ruler of the means to wipe out rebel forces from the air. Had they possessed air crews, the rebels could have used their prize to bomb the presidential palace.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 9, 2013, 2:06 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Israeli Air Force, deployed densely over Syria’s borders with Israel, Jordan and Lebanon to guard against Assad’s promised payback for the IAF’s air strike against Jamraya on Jan. 30 and block the transfer of Hizballah’s advanced weapons to Lebanon, is also in position as potential game changer in the contest between the Syrian army and rebels. Assad is scheming how to move the weapons without evoking an attack, wherea the rebels plan to provoke an Israel-Syrian clash for an opportunity to ride into Damascus.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 8, 2013, 12:47 AM (GMT+02:00)
As Syrian rebels advance on the heart of Damascus, Assad arms the 4th Division with chemical weapons for use if necessary to halt the advance. Al Qaeda has moved shop to Lebanon and is harassing Hizballah with nightly raids.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 14, 2012, 12:44 AM (GMT+02:00)
Moscow is looking ahead to the post-Assad era and planning to set up permanent military enclaves at Damascus and Aleppo airports.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 22, 2012, 11:30 AM (GMT+02:00)
Assad quickly recovered from the loss of his four top allies last Wednesday, July 18 and replaced them with a new command for fighting the rebels headed by his brother Gen. Maher Assad, debkafile reports exclusively. Gen. Ali Mamloukh is new General Security Service head; Gen. Hafez Makhlouf military commander of Damascus; and Gen. Ali Hassan chief of the Alawite Shabiha militia. Assad retaliated against Turkey by letting Kurdish PKK rebels fighting Turkey from Iraq set up bases in Syria, from which they launched their first attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 19, 2012, 11:45 PM (GMT+02:00)
Bashar Assad didn’t leave Damascus as widely rumored only to another palace furnished with adequate secret tunnels of escape. He also housed his general staff in a fortified complex likewise equipped with secret underground routes to key military installations and escape.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 19, 2012, 11:45 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran and Damascus have decided to initiate their war on Israel with terrorism, reserving chemical weapons for use first against the rebels and Jordan. Syria’s rebels have also procured chemical weapons from Libya.
DEBKAfile Special Report July 18, 2012, 7:52 PM (GMT+02:00)
Four top members of Bashar Assad’s inner circle were killed in Damascus Wednesday, July 18: His brother-in-law Security Chief Assif Shawqat, Defense minister Gen. Dawoud Raijiha, Interior Minister Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ibrahim Shaar and Vice-Presidential aide Gen. Hasan Turkmani. debkafile: Their deaths were caused by a hidden bomb in the cabinet conference room – not a suicide bomber as previously reported. Top-level consultations are under way in Washington, Jerusalem and other Mid East capitals to second-guess Assad’s expected reaction
DEBKAfile Special Report July 17, 2012, 7:58 AM (GMT+02:00)
Bashar Assad has gathered in his army to defend Damascus, concentrating armored vehicles in the center. Six srengthened Shabiha battalions have cut off the roads to the center from the two southern suburbs of Meidan and Tadmon seized by the rebels Monday, July 16, and are trying the pound them into extinction. The Syrian general staff prepared for the last battle for Damascus by relocating its command headquarters to a well-fortified complex on Shuhada Street in the capital’s center.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 17, 2012, 2:58 PM (GMT+02:00)
Two car bomb attacks on Air Force Intelligence and Security Police Headquarters in Damascus killed at least 27 people and wounded 97 Saturday, March 17. A third bomb exploded on a bus carrying members of the pro-Iranian Palestinian Liberation Army in the Al Yarmouk suburb.
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 May 31, 2011, 10:24 PM (GMT+02:00)
Damascus is humming in anticipation of a speech in the coming hours by Syrian President Bashar Assad declaring victory over the 10-week uprising against his regime, debkafile reports. Two pockets of resistance still hold out around Homs, but the protest ringleaders fled briefly to the Lebanese port of Tripoli and will soon be on their way to a West European safe haven. It is not clear how many of the 10,000 protesters arrested will benefit from the amnesty announced Tuesday.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 11, 2010, 9:29 PM (GMT+02:00)
The US and Israel were unpleasantly taken aback to find Russian president Dmitry Medvedev receiving a pack of Hamas leaders, including political secretary Khaled Meshaal, Monday May 11, on the second day of his Damascus visit. Syrian president Bashar Assad was also present. Apparently unaware of this turn of events, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed Medvedev's offer of a role in