DEBKAfile Special Report March 16, 2013
Britain and France have for the first time parted ways with the US on its policy against sending Western arms to Syrian rebels fighting Bashar Assad. As the EU summit in Brussels voted March 14 against their motion to lift the Syrian arms embargo, debkafile reveals that Jordan’s top soldier arrived in Brussels to discuss shipping British arms through his country – and select the rebel recipients. France’s Francois Hollande used this issue to even the score for Barack Obama’s lack of military support for his Mali expedition.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 8, 2013
France’s motives for its intervention in Mali are variously interpreted as a genuine wish to liberate northern Mali from Islamist terrorists and forming a base of attack against Europe, or as defense of French economic interests in Mali’s rich natural resources.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 19, 2013
Barack Obama’s disinclination to intervene in the Mali and Algerian gas field crises is a mark of his evolving isolationist policy for the United States. debkafile: Even though the US homeland may not be in immediate peril from the two episodes, Al Qaeda’s interconnecting tentacles cannot be ignored: Seven years ago on July 7, jihadist suiciders blew up London trains and a bus with explosives provided by the very Al Qaeda cells of Sahel Desert which today occupy Mali and this week struck the Algerian gas field.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 18, 2013
Neither France nor the US has learned from the Afghanistan War that aerial warfare won’t defeat al Qaeda – certainly not when they are highly-trained in special forces tactics and backed by mobile, well-armed local militias with advanced anti-aircraft weapons. Those militias are Touareg tribesmen, trained and armed by the US as a spearhead against al Qaeda in Africa, who instead defected to the enemy.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 18, 2013
The Algerian hostage disaster was the outcome of French anti-terror intervention in Mali which in turn developed from the messy ending of the Libyan war. By carrying out two counter terror operations – in Somali and Mali – on one day, France and the US brought together the most dangerous al Qaeda franchise for a common war front.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 12, 2013
French President Francois Hollande placed the country on high domestic terror alert Saturday, Jan. 12, in case of retaliatory attacks by al Qaeda for French operations against two of its African wings: a failed mission to rescue a French hostage from the Somali Shabaab, and air and commando aid for the Mali army’s drive to stop advancing Islamists. The Islamists threatened to execute at least eight French hostages, one by one, unless French forces pulled out of Somalia and Mali at once.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 7, 2012
Sources close to the French Defense Ministry reported Friday, Dec. 7, that a Western-Arab military intervention against the Assad regime will begin shortly with the participation of the US, France, Britain, Turkey, Jordan and other anti-Assad Arab nations, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar. debkafile: French and British warships have joined the USS Eisenhower carrier off Syria. The mission would combine an air blitz and special operations forces on the ground for wiping out Assad’s chemical arms stocks, air force and air defense batteries.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 1, 2012
If France and Israel were to combine their air and sea assets, they could clobber Iran’s nuclear program without any other partners. However, neither is yet about to move in this direction without the United States, although their intelligence ties are in closer rapport than they are with US intelligence agencies.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 12, 2012
The first week of October is the latest agreed timeline for a US-Israeli decision to strike Iran because after that it will be too late. Iran’s nuclear breakout is now counted in weeks, nuclear diplomacy has fallen through and President Obama is closer than ever before to a decision. DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources add that France has also begun transferring special forces to its UAE bases and Britain is completing preparations for deploying large ground, naval and air forces to Kuwait.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 12, 2012
Mahmoud Jibril won the Libyan election by dint of a power-sharing deal with the Muslim Brotherhood and the support of French and US intelligence. That deal is not expected to last long.
DEBKAfile Special Report July 12, 2012
As Russia and NATO boosted their military strength in the E. Mediterranean, debkafile reports the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier and dozens of unmanned underwater craft for destroying mines are being rushed to the Persian Gulf. By August, five aircraft carriers will be on site - four American and one French. "If Iran starts spreading underwater mines in international waterways, i.e., the Strait of Hormuz, it will find American forces ready to dismantle them," said a Western military source.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 11, 2012
At least 11 Russian warships are heading for Syria from their Black Sea and North Sea bases; NATO’s rapid response Maritime Group 2 is on its way to the E. Mediterranean too, and five Israeli warships are already deployed. The French nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle-R91 is making for the French naval base at Port Zayid, Abu Dhabi, opposite the Strait of Hormuz. In Riyadh, high Saudi officials are convinced a US strike against Iran is coming soon - before or after the November election.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 30, 2012
US President Obama recently vetoed a detailed Franco-Saudi plan for ending President Bashar Assad’s rule by means of a massive air strike against his palace that would wipe him, his family and top leadership circle out, debkafile reports. French warplanes from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier off Syria and Saudi and United Arab Emirates bombers flying in through Jordan would devastate the palace atop Mount Qassioun northeast of Damascus. The US was asked to pitch in by disrupting Syrian air defenses.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 11, 2012
Francois Hollande is stuck with an unrealistic pre-election policy which he will have to tone down for an accommodation with Chancellor Angela Merkel whose financial backing he needs to put the French economy on an even keel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis May 7, 2012
Two stalwarts of the Western confrontation against a nuclear-armed Iran suffered election defeats this week: Nicolas Sarkozy was swept out of the Elysee by the Socialist leader Francois Hollande Sunday, May 6. Three days earlier, the two parties forming UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s government coalition were trounced in local elections across Britain. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who faces an election in four months, never imagined he would so soon be left on shifting sands against the Iranian nuclear threat.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 22, 2012
The French-born al Qaeda killer, Mohammed Merah - who shocked the world by murdering three Jewish schoolchildren and their teacher in Toulouse by shots to the head, after killing three French paratroopers - was found dead after jumping out of a window still shooting Thursday, March 22. First, he injured three police officers searching his apartment, bursting out of the bathroom firing madly. To capture him alive, French police and security forces conducted the longest siege in their history against a lone terrorist.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 20, 2012
French security circles close to the investigation of the shooting Monday, March 19, which left a teacher and three children dead at the Ozar Hatora school in Toulouse, told debkafile Tuesday that they have no leads as yet to the killer or suspects. He vanished by motorbike as mysteriously as he arrived at the school. All that can be deduced for now was that he was a trained - and possibly a hired – assassin – so explaining the video camera around his neck.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 19, 2012
Toulouse police with reinforcements are hunting the motorcyclist who attacked the Jewish Ozar Hatorah school Monday, March 19, and murdered a teacher, Yonathan Sandler, 30, his sons Arieh, 3 and Gavriel, 6 and the principal’s daughter, Miriam Monstango, aged 8. The killer dressed in black continued shooting 9mm and 11.43mm pistols at children inside the school yard before escaping. President Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered extra security for Jewish institutions. All French schools will observe a minute’s silence Tuesday.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2012
Military preparations for intervention in the horrendous Syrian crisis are quietly afoot in Washington, Paris, Rome, London and Ankara. President Barack Obama is poised for a final decision after the Pentagon submits operational plans for protecting Syrian rebels and beleaguered populations, debkafile reports. The deaths of two notable journalists helped galvanize the West into action. They died after Syrian artillery located their secret press center in Homs with the help of Russian spy satellites or Iranian electronic measures - and gutted it.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 9, 2012
US, Russian, French and British air and naval forces are gathering around the Syrian and Iranian coasts on guard for fresh developments at the two Middle East flashpoints. The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov put in earlier than planned at Syria's Tartus port Sunday, Jan. 8, together with two more Russian warships. British and French naval craft head to the Persian Gulf, while the giant US RQ-4 Global Hawk drone has begun monitoring Iranian coastlines from the USS Stenning aircraft carrier.