DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 16, 2013
French President Francois Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius arrive in Jerusalem Sunday, Nov. 17. Their talks with Israel’s leaders will show if France stands by its independent stance against Washington’s détente with Tehran and is willing to throw in its lot ad hoc with Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. Their outcome will determine whether Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu goes to Moscow next Wednesday alone or with French and Saudi backing. The next round of nuclear negotiations in Geneva on Nov. 20 will also be influenced.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 11, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Dubai Monday, Nov. 11, to try and break up the unique bond of European governments, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Arab states and Israel which stalled the US-Iranian nuclear deal in Geneva. debkafile: Washington shows no sign of toning down its deal with Iran, although US undersecretary Wendy Sherman and EU’s Catherine Ashton are blamed for damaging the process by opening the draft too freely for amendments by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zerif, which even Kerry was not ready to sign.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 10, 2013
France amazed its fellow five powers and Iran by sticking to its guns to the last. They never imagined French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius would actually scupper the Geneva nuclear conference when it came closer than ever before to a joint accord. The intense pressure the US beamed at Jerusalem turns now to Paris. The conference reconvenes on Nov. 20. But meanwhile, President Barack Obama and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif have suffered a stinging setback after long secret negotiations.
Israel accuses US of deceit on nuclear deal with Iran. Geneva signing drags out as Iran ups its price
DEBKAfile Special Report November 9, 2013
The delay in signing the first interim nuclear accord with Iran in Geneva prompted the remark by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius: “There is an initial draft that we do not accept… I have no certainty that we can finish up.” However, debkafile confirms that the deal cut directly between Washington and Tehran ahead of the Geneva conference will be signed at latest Saturday, Nov. 9, or Sunday - in the face of French reservations, Israel’s fury and Tehran's opportunist bid to extort more concessions at the last minute.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 2, 2013
Senior IDF circles are concerned by the unrealistic mood of the country on New Year’s eve as though Israel and the US were fully coordinated on Syria and Hizballah and the danger of Syria repeating its chemical attack – this time on Israel – had receded. In fact, since US President Barack Obama aborted the US strike on Syria, Damascus and Hizballah have stepped up their threats to attack Israel in the coming weeks, prompting a warning from Netanyahu that “Anyone wishing to do us harm should know what awaits him.”
DEBKAfile Special Report March 30, 2013
The West has initiated an arms embargo against the Syrian rebels fighting Bashar Assad since discovering that some of the weapons are being resold to al Qaeda for its conquest of southern Syrian and takeover of positions on the Jordanian and Israel borders and Yarmuk River. This policy reversal was disclosed by French President Francois Hollande Friday, March 29. debkafile: Alarm over the Nusra Front’s territorial gains now tops concerns over chemical warfare in the deliberations of the joint US-Israeli, US-Jordanian and US-Turkish command centers.
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.