DEBKAfile Special Report March 9, 2013
Western optimism on Iran’s nuclear program comes from three major US concessions in Kazakhstan to which Israel strongly objects: Fordo stays open, 20-percent uranium enrichment continues and low-grade Iranian uranium stocks will not leave the country. One Israeli official summed this up for debkafile as “a huge Iranian success and total defeat for Israel.” Significantly, former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin commented that an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would be “a one-night operation.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 7, 2013
Feeling betrayed by the US concessions to Iran at Kazakhstan, Binyamin Netanyahu appoints new defense minister for leading potential solo strike to preempt a nuclear Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 6, 2013
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
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 Report February 24, 2013
The furious Palestinian protesters of Hebron, Nablus and other West Bank towns and villages are in no mood to hear Israel’s side of any dispute. Their violent protests will continue regardless of whether or not Arafat Jaradat died in jail from Israel mistreatment, as the Palestinian Authority claims, or of heart failure, as Israel replies. Mahmoud Abbas appears to count on reining in the violence whenever he decides it has exhausted its political usefulness. But most intelligence watchers think he is playing with fire.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 22, 2013
The Syrian opposition and rebels have come to terms with their inability to beat Assad’s army on the battlefield and are ready to talk. Assad won’t hear of stepping down and is preparing to run for another presidential term in 2014. Moscow which is hosting the talks stands behind him.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 22, 2013
If Russian personnel pushed the button of the anti-air missile that allegedly downed an Israeli done over the Lebanese Beqaa Valley, it carried a message from Moscow to Jerusalem to that Lebanon as well as Syria is under its protection.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 21, 2013
Hizballah forces went on alert Thursday, Feb. 21, upon the expiry of a 48-hour ultimatum slapped down by Syrian rebels to halt the Lebanese group’s military support for Bashar Assad - or else. debkafile: Relevant to this chain of events is the Syrian claim that its anti-aircraft missiles downed an Israeli drone Wednesday over the Lebanese village of Deir al-Aachayer. Those events were touched off by the initial preparations in Moscow for a political process between Syria’s warring parties for determining the country’s future.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 19, 2013
Bashar Assad has evacuated most of the troops of his 5th Army Division from their permanent bases on the Golan opposite Israeli forces and transferred them along with their artillery to Damascus, debkafile’s military sources report. This step was intended by Assad to reinforce the defense of his capital, while at the same time providing the al Qaeda-linked fighters in rebel ranks direct access to the Israel border. In no time, the jihadists are expected to turn their guns and missiles on Israel.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 17, 2013
The North Korean test of a “miniature nuclear device” capability, combined with Iran’s ability to launch a capsule with a monkey payload into orbit, add up to their having achieved a nuclear warhead capacity through shared technology. Officials in Jerusalem were dismayed to discover that, instead of cutting this menace short, members of President Barack Obama’s circle were studying a bizarre plan to appease Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei by seeking UN Security Council endorsement for his nuclear fatwa.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 14, 2013
In the murky world of double agents, no one can be sure who serves whom at any given time. Some straw companies also serve many spymasters - whether as their operating method or out of greed. Ben Zygier-Alon’s mission has not been revealed, but some leaks suggest he may have been mixed up in this kind of vortex and, instead of jumping out, decided on his own bat to follow through all the way to a certain objective, so sealing his fate and possibly betraying his own masters.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 13, 2013
Despite their best investigative efforts, ABC TV found no lead to the mysteries of the life and death of Australian Ben Zygier, the Mossad agent. How did he kill himself in a top-security cell in 2010 under the tightest surveillance? Why was he held in secret, solitary confinement? An unnamed Israeli official said his exposure would have posed an existential threat to the country. An Australian inquiry has been launched to find out why Israel’s notification of his death to the Tel Aviv embassy never reached Canberra.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 11, 2013
A secret US Pentagon study “casts doubt on whether the multibillion-dollar missile defense system planned for Europe can ever protect the US from Iranian ballistic missiles...” Clearly, the missile shield against Iran, which aroused ire in Moscow, is about to fall under the axe of US defense budget cuts. debkafile: Scrapping it will leave Israel and Turkey undefended against Iranian missile attack. But if Tehran can put a satellite in orbit of 36,000 kilometers above earth, as Ahmadinejad boasts, America is just as exposed.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 8, 2013
Iran is squeezing Assad hard to push Hizballah’s weapons out of Syrian stores across the border into Lebanon. He is too heavily dependent on Tehran to refuse. Assad is also waiting for the weather to clear to settle his accounts with Israel with a limited military strike.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 1, 2013
Obama was convinced that by sundering Assad’s military links with Hizballah, Iran would be isolated and Assad bereft of his regime’s most active support and shield.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 1, 2013
Israel’s war alert unfolded in five days from Jan. 25 to 29 as Hizballah came close to seizing a major Syrian chemical arsenal and jihadists fighting in Syrian rebel ranks threatened to capture another chemical store.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 28, 2013
Comments by US President Barack Obama and Ambassador Dan Shapiro lack a US commitment to step in against the Syrian chemical threat. Obama is concerned with juggling his global military priorities against a shrinking defense budget. debkafile: The onus for coping with the chemical peril is being passed by Washington to Turkey, Jordan and Israel. US aid will be confined to setting targets, providing intelligence and coordinating Israeli-Turkish-Jordanian military operations if necessary to take control of the dangerous arsenal.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 27, 2013
Tehran is looking seriously at a limited Syrian-Lebanese clash of arms with Israel – possibly using Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons as a trigger, debkafile discloses. Israel reacted to this news by announcing Sunday, Jan. 27, the deployment of Iron Dome anti-missile batteries in northern Israel and Haifa port. A clash would serve Tehran by sidetracking Israel from striking Iran’s nuclear facilities and help spin out its nuclear talks with the Six Powers. Israel has got plans ready for current military challenges.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 11, 2013
Since the US pulled its fleet away from Syrian shores and the rebels’ arms supplies began drying up, Turkey and Israel assumed defensive postures vis a vis Syria, while the rebels began thinking about reconciliation with Bashar Assad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 4, 2013
The early emergence of Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities confused the Americans, produces US warnings and Israeli threats. Turkey soon applied to NATO for Patriot missiles.