DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 4, 2013
The gunning down of Hajj Hassan Hollo al-Laqqis, a high-ranking Hizballah commander and close crony of Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah raised the stakes of the clandestine war between Saudi Arabia and Iran - or rather between Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan and Iran’s Al Qods Brigades commander Qassem al-Soleimani. Hizballah blamed Israel for the assassination because it is easier to reach for revenge than Saudi Arabia. Al-Laqqis was killed in the underground parking lot of his home by five shots to the head and throat.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 23, 2013
The undercover duel between Iran and Saudi Arabia escalates as it moves out of Syria into Lebanon and Iraq.
Incredible! Beirut bombings killing 25 people were self-inflicted by Iran and Hizballah as a diversionary tactic
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 19, 2013
A Saudi warning reached Western intelligence agencies, including Israel, on Nov. 14, that Iran and Hizballah were plotting a major terrorist operation in Beirut as a diversionary stunt, debkafile reports exclusively. The tip-off came three days before twin suicide bombings struck the Iranian embassy and the Hizballah stronghold in Beirut Tuesday, Nov. 19, killing 25 people and injuring nearly 150. It was devised, said Saudi intelligence, to convince Hizballah fighters consigned against their will to the Syrian battlefield that they were fighting to defend their own home bases.
Israeli defense minister with top generals could have been hit by the bomb trap which injured five soldiers
DEBKAfile Special Report November 1, 2013
A Hamas bomb trap was planted in the tunnel discovered last month running from Khan Younes in the Gaza Strip to Kibbutz Ein Hashlosaha. It was triggered when a combat engineering unit came to destroy it Thursday night. Five men were injured, one seriously, including a Lt. Colonel and a major. Four days ago, the tunnel was visited by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and a group of generals. What if they had run into the same booby-trap? Were they lucky or was it not yet in position?
US reports Israeli air strike in Latakia. Other foreign sources: Israel also struck target in Damascus
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 31, 2013
A US official Thursday night, Oct. 31, confirmed Arab reports that Wednesday night, the Israeli Air Force attacked a consignment of Russian-made SA-8 Gecko Dgreen mobile missiles in the Syrian port of Latakia to prevent its delivery to Hizballah. Other foreign sources said Israel also struck a similar consignment in Damascus. DEBKA: The leak from Washington to US media angered Israeli officials. US sources explained that the administration, immersed in joint diplomacy on Syria with Moscow, had to demonstrate it was not involved in the Israeli operation.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 24, 2013
As Al Qods rounds up a Shiite legion across the Middle East to fight for Damascus, Hizballah is deeply reluctant to stay in the Syrian war arena any longer. The Saudis are pushing for a government in Beirut that will pull Hizballah out of Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 7, 2013
Hizballah is surreptitiously withdrawing thousands of fighting men from Syria after an intervention for saving the Assad regime. debkafile: This withdrawal closes Tehran’s first successful experiment in fielding a surrogate force for determining the outcome of a war in an important strategic arena. Despite heavy losses, Hizballah comes out toughened by combat experience and seasoned in running regular military units in battle under combined Iranian-Syrian command. The Lebanese Shiites have won a tactical advantage over the IDF which has not faced real combat since 2006.
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 September 1, 2013
President Barack Obama’s about-turn Saturday night, Aug. 31 on the planned US military operation against Syria’s chemical weapons has shaken up the volatile Middle East balance of strength, giving Israel, Jordan and Turkey “a military nightmare.” By suspending the US military threat, Obama has given Iran, Syria and Hizballah the time and freedom to stage a pre-emptive strike against America and its regional allies. Israel’s authorities are taking no chances and keeping in place the military and security preparedness on the country’s Syrian and Lebanese borders.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 29, 2013
Three months after the fall of Al Qusayr, the combined Syrian and Hizballah armies have captured the key city of Homs, 162 km northeast of Damascus. Its fall opens the way for Syrian-Hizballah forces to move in on Aleppo for a decisive victory. debkafile: Washington, Jerusalem and Ankara have run out of time for quibbling over whether to step into the Syrian conflict. The Obama administration must decide fast whether to let Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers win the Syrian civil war or stop them at Aleppo.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 25, 2013
The slimmed down IDF budget and reform program are powerfully opposed by distinguished military figures at home who say that junking tanks and ground forces is too risky in the current Middle East climate.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 11, 2013
The explosions of big Syrian arsenals in Latakia are still a mystery. However, the weapons piled up for the Syrian-Hizballah Aleppo offensive were destroyed, as well as the advanced Russian Yakhon anti-ship cruise missiles.
Israeli leaders rebut criticism of under-reacting to threats from Syria by hinting at covert operations
DEBKAfile Special Report June 28, 2013
Senior Israeli officers in the North estimate that the IDF’s performance is just 40 percent of what is required for defending Israel’s border against the threats building up from the Golan. For too long, Israeli intelligence has been in thrall to the misconception that Bashar Assad’s days are numbered and underestimated Hizballah’s combat effectiveness in the Syrian war. Friday, an Iron Dome anti-missile battery was finally deployed to the northern town of Haifa, after a different kind of rhetoric came from Israeli leaders.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 25, 2013
A logistics base for handling tanks, missile systems, self-propelled artillery bound for Syria and Hizballah is secretly under construction at Port Sudan, debkafile reports exclusively. Iranian Revolutionary Guards engineers in civilian dress are overseeing the hundreds of Sudanese workmen laboring flat out to build Iran’s second Red Sea base after Assab in South Eritrea. It is designed to handle Iran’s largest warships and submarines with a large arms depot that will cut in half the sea route for Iranian heavy arms to reach Iran’s Syrian and Hizballah allies.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 15, 2013
The Obama administration and Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on a visit to Washington backed away Friday, June 14, from any effective response to the Syrian ruler’s proven use of chemical weapons against rebel forces. On the ground, debkafile’s military sources reported Hizballah and Syrian army movements were detected heading toward the Golan and the Jordanian border from the military concentrations building up in the last two weeks around the nearby town of Deraa. Those sources also concluded that Hizballah has been awarded “limited-use” chemical weapons
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 12, 2013
Kuwait is the first Gulf emirate ready to act on the resolution of the recent Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Jeddah to punish Hizballah for its “flagrant intervention in Syria” against “freedom fighters.” The Interior Ministry in Kuwait is about to “end the residency of some 2,000 Lebanese Shiite citizens” and shut down their financial and commercial businesses. debkafile: The mass deportation of Lebanese Shiites from the Gulf region will raise tensions with Iran and Hibzallah and may even spark retribution by Iranian and Hizballah sleeper cells.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 7, 2013
Bashar Assad could hardly lose the war with the hefty backing of Russia, Iran, Iraq and Hizballah. Hizballah tilted the fighting against the rebels, while Iraq is feeding his war chest with billions of petrodollars.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 7, 2013
Hamas has lost its financial sponsors. That is one reason to turn back to Tehran. Another is Assad’s offer to its war allies the chance of attacking Israel from Syrian soil. So why not switch back from the rebel side to Assad?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 4, 2013
When Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon informed a Knesset panel Monday, June 3 that Syrian rebels still occupied four Damascus districts, debkafile’s intelligence sources reported the battle for the Syrian capital was all but over. Senior IDF officers: Flawed intelligence may lead to faulty decision-making.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 2, 2013
The IDF has disclosed that Israeli Arrow II missile batteries stand ready to intercept Syrian missiles launched against Israel. debkafile reports close coordination between the Israeli Arrow and US Patriot deployments in Jordan and Turkey.