DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 8, 2012
The first US-Turkish backed steps for creating safe havens in Syria and possible Western bombardment of the Syrian army have brought the Middle East close to two dangerous junctures: The Syrian army’s use of chemical and biological weapons, and an outbreak of hostilities between Hizballah and Israel – which nearly happened in mid-week, debkafile reports.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 7, 2012
US, Iranian and Israel planners have moved past discussion on whether Israel can be prevented from attacking Iran before the November election and are now talking about their various versions of a second strike option, which all agree will be more devastating than the first.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 6, 2012
Turkish army officers have assumed direct command of at least two Syrian rebel brigades fighting Bashar Assad’s government forces, according to debkafile’s exclusive sources. This step and its future expansion, discussed during CIA Director David Petraeus’ talks in Ankara, have sent military tensions rocketing on Israel’s northern borders with Syria and Lebanon. A high alert was declared for Israel units on the Syrian and Lebanese borders for a possible backlash after unusual military movements were detected in Syria and among Hizballah concentrations.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 3, 2012
To keep the truce with the Islamist terrorist groups in Sinai in place, Egypt is releasing dozens of jailed Salafist gunmen every few days in batches, so feeding them a steady supply of reinforcements. Cairo is also in negotiation with Bedouin tribal elders to grant a body of 6,000 Al-Qaeda-linked Salafi gunmen the status of an approved, independent militia. Armed with up-to-date Egyptian weapons, this militia is to be charged with responsibility for maintaining security. Israel is taxed with a new headache in the south.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 31, 2012
In its bluntest message yet, the Obama administration declared that Israel is on its own if it attacks Iran. Thursday, Aug. 30, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reiterated that an Israeli attack would “delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program,” adding impatiently: “I don't want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it." Sanctions were having an effect, said the general. But as he spoke the IAEA reported a 31 percent jump in Iran’s enriched uranium stock.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 28, 2012
Tehran was forced to eat crow and backtrack on its ploy for winning international recognition for its nuclear program by showing Non-Aligned Summit leaders and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon around its nuclear sites. The tour was planned for Wednesday, Aug. 29. However, debkafile reports that Washington intervened Tuesday and “advised” NAM participants as well as Ban to turn Tehran down on its nuclear tour, which was to have included the suspected nuclear-related explosives testing lab at Parchin.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 27, 2012
Al Qaeda missiles struck Kibbutz Kholit opposite the Egyptian-Gazan-Israeli border junction and an IDF post in the Kissufim district Monday, Aug. 28, debkafile reveals, in line with the terrorists' tactic of holding Israel hostage as a lever for bending Cairo to their will. The IDF communiqué omitted to mention those attacks - only the Qassam rocket targeting Sderot that morning. Al Qaeda’s affiliates timed their strikes for derailing talks the Egyptian defense minister and army chief held Monday with Sinai Bedouin chiefs.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 26, 2012
For the first time, a thread links the triple rocket attack on the Israeli town of Sderot, with the two terrorist cells captured in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – Sunday, Aug. 26, debkafile reports. Both were conceived by Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula. AQAP has ordered its Sinai cells and Egyptian and Palestinian offshoots to step up their attacks and hold Israeli towns, Eilat and Sderot, hostage against pursuit. Fears that chemicals held by the Saudi cell may have reached Sinai.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly August 22, 2012
A powerful US administration faction is pushing hard for military intervention in Syria now. It argues the time is ripe and fast action would have the added value of delaying an Israeli strike against Iran. Jumping into the fray, the latest DEBKA-Net-Weekly out last Friday judged the strength of the anti-interventionists surrounding President Barack Obama. Their only concession was the president’s threat this week to Bashar Assad against using chemical and biological weapons.
DEBKAfile Video August 21, 2012
Some Western intelligence circles suggest that Israel may choose to disable Iran’s nuclear program by eliminating its leaders.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 20, 2012
Israel has asked the Obama administration to intervene with Cairo for the removal of Egyptian tanks deployed in Sinai without permission, fearing they are there to stay. This issue has become tangled up in broader issues: President Mohamed Morsi hints that substantial US economic aid is the key to the tanks’ removal, the launch of a major Egyptian offensive on al Qaeda-linked Sinai terrorists and his refusal of an invitation to visit Tehran. Israel has posted an Iron Dome battery in Eilat against more missile strikes from Sinai.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 17, 2012
The disclosure Thursday night, Aug.16 by an American source that a worst-case scenario could require up to 60,000 ground troops for securing Syria's chemical and biological weapons sites was meant as psychological preparation for chemical warfare, say debkafile’s military sources, as Syria’s neighbors make ready.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 16, 2012
Saudis offered Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Mecca a non-aggression pact. Tehran rejection would lay Iran open to attack. The Iranian president sought counter-guarantees that Saudi Arabia would not be party to US or Israeli attacks. It is up to Khamenei to decide what next.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 16, 2012
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has set up house in Sinai and Gaza, dedicating itself to attacks on Israel. The Egyptian army’s big counter-terror offensive shows no signs of taking off, although its M-60 tanks looking like having come to stay on the Israeli border.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 15, 2012
US Gen. Martin Dempsey said Tuesday, Aug. 14 Israel could “delay but not destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities.” debkafile: Israel's leaders and military chiefs don’t pretended otherwise, because even a US strike could no longer destroy those capacities. Today, an Israeli attack could delay Iran for a couple of years; an American strike, for 4-5 years. 2007 was the last moment for totaling the program. But the longer action is held off now the shorter the delay achievable in Iran’s bomb-building time table.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 12, 2012
The United States last week began laying plans for the contingency of Syrian chemical warfare by setting up joint military, intelligence and medical working teams with Israel, Turkey and Jordan. All three are feared under threat by Syrian president Bashar Assad, debkafile reports - as are US military facilities there. The White House, the CIA and the Pentagon’s DIA are laying odds on a Syrian unconventional attack, and all three countries under potential threat have ordered their medical services to make preparations.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 10, 2012
Israel willingly acceded to Cairo’s request for permission to deploy fighter planes and armored troop carriers in Sinai - a demilitarized buffer zone under their 1979 peace treaty – in support of President Mohamed Morsi’s counter-terror offensive against lawless Islamist bands. debkafile reports: It was soon realized in Washington and Jerusalem that the “offensive” was largely bogus and being used less for eliminating Salafi terrorists and more for purging the Egyptian military of pro-Western influence and promoting its takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 8, 2012
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, in conjunction with military chief Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, fired a row of top military, intelligence and police officials Wednesday, Aug. 8, after more armed Islamist attacks on Egyptian troops. Morsi replaced Intelligence chief Gen. Mourad Mowafi with Maj. Gen. Mohamed Shehata, and fired the governor of North Sinai, Abdel Wahab Mabrouk, as well as other officials. The president acted expeditiously to quell street protest over declining Sinai security but is not yet grappling with its root cause, Islamist terror.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 7, 2012
Monday, Aug. 6, the head of Iran’s National Security Council Saeed Jalili touched down in Beirut shortly after Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani declared: "The fire that has been ignited in Syria will take the fearful (Israelis) with it. Jalili (not Larijani as misreported earlier) came for urgent on-the-spot coordination with Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah before continuing Tuesday to Damascus. They discussed ways of stamping Iran’s mark on Syria after Bashar Assad’s exit. Military plans against Israel are part of their schemes.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 6, 2012
The initial Egyptian and Israeli accounts of the attacks in which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed and the Israeli border crashed Sunday night, Aug. 5, don’t match up: Egypt points the finger at the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip; Israel at Sinai salafists. debkafile postulates a third option: Tehran may have harnessed its Gaza Strip proxies and a Sinai al Qaeda cell for coordinated attacks on Egyptian and Israeli military targets to avenge Al Qaeda’s enlistment to the Western-Arab-backed revolt against Bashar Assad.