DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis May 10, 2014
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrives in Jeddah next Monday, May 12, for a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council defense ministers, the first to be attended by an American defense chief in six years. This prolonged absence reflected the Obama administration’s military disengagement from Middle East affairs and their ensuing political estrangement. Hagel will find Gulf states bent on self-defense and ready to contend with Iran without recourse to the US. Jordan and Israel are also withdrawing from commitments to play ball with Washington.
Jordan invokes 1994 peace treaty with Israel for a say in Kerry’s Jordan Valley security and Jerusalem plans
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 3, 2014
Secretary of State John Kerry has ordered a reassessment of Gen. John Allen’s Israeli-Palestinian security plan - especially the replacement of Israeli units along the Jordan Valley border shared between Israel, Jordan and a future Palestinian state, with US electronic surveillance devices. debkafile: Not only is Israel emphatically opposed to this, so too is the Jordan's King Abdullah, who won't hear of his kingdom’s exposure to US electronic devices or a Palestinian presence. He also wants Jordan’s special status in Jerusalem’s holy places incorporated in Kerry’s documentation for the peace process.
Gloom in Kerry’s party over widening Israeli-Palestinian gaps. Jordan rejects Palestinian security on its border
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 5, 2014
Secretary of State John Kerry returns Sunday night, Jan. 5 for another shuttle between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas after time-out for dropping in on Amman and Riyadh. debkafile: Kerry ordered his team to shelve the proposed US framework after he saw the gaps getting wider instead of narrower on the core issues of the dispute. In Amman, he found King Abdullah totally apposed to the integration of Palestinian security and intelligence bodies in security arrangements in the Jordan Valley and West Bank.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 6, 2013
Two US war rooms were necessary in view of various Obama commitments to different Middle East allies. The area marked out as US area of influence is designed also to impede al Qaeda’s advance.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 24, 2013
Dead set against Obama’s policies for Syria and Iran, the Saudis are preparing to send heavy weapons to the Syrian rebels, making up the deficiency created by Western denial. Jordan must be persuaded to let the supply transit its territory.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 30, 2013
Israelis and Saudis are concerned Obama will treat nuclear Iran as leniently as chemical Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 18, 2013
Although Obama has approved the deployment of 200 US troops to Jordan, no one knows whether he will order enough military strength to save King Abdullah if his kingdom comes under Syrian attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 1, 2013
A historic agreement signed in Amman Sunday, March 31, between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II takes a new stand on Jerusalem by accepting the king as Custodian of the Holy Sites, with authority over the Waqf. He will also represent the interests of the Holy Sites “in relevant international forums…” By laying the foundation for internationalizing the oversight of Jerusalem’s holy sites, the document faces trouble in Israel and also among Palestinians. The two parties’ communiqués differ in defining “Palestinian sovereignty.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 29, 2013
Before ending his Middle East trip, Barack Obama finalized with Israeli, Turkish and Jordanian leaders his plans for a US-led military intervention in Syria to liquidate its chemical and biological arsenals.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 27, 2013
After patching up the feud between Israel and Turkey, US President Barack Obama faces a much tougher task: brokering ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. To address the looming Syrian chemical arms crisis, President Obama needs a united anti-Assad Arab-Islamic front. He faces a choice between two blocs for the lead role: Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Abu Dhabi, or Turkey and Qatar. Most Arab rulers want no truck with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, which is why he vents his frustration on Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 22, 2013
Obama pledges to extend the US military assistance program for Israel for another decade when it expires in 2017. Netanyahu said he would not order an attack on Iran without first consulting with Washington.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 27, 2012
A confederation plan for a Palestinian West Bank state and Jordan was the real subject of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent conversation with King Abdullah in Amman, debkafile’s sources reveal – not Syria. This idea has become a focal talking point in Amman, Washington and Palestinian centers. It ties in with the report from US and Jordanian sources that Israel and the Palestinians will resume talks in the spring for a long-term interim accord, and defer the core issues indefinitely.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 25, 2012
The Muslim Brotherhood has scheduled Oct. 10 for the start of mass protests against King Abdullah II and ordered its members to start mobilizing at least 50,000 demonstrators for daily demonstrations until he bows to their will. The king has until then to accept the MB’s demand for Jordan’s transition to a constitutional monarchy and electoral reform. debkafile also reports. Israel is worried about the Arab Spring throwing up another Islamist state next door. Saudi royals fear they are next in line.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 21, 2012
King Abdullah faces a Muslim Brotherhood ultimatum to announce before the end of September his acceptance of constitutional rule and democratic elections or go down under an Arab Spring insurrection.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 19, 2012
The protesters led by the Muslim Brotherhood are focusing their ire on Queen Rania accusing her and her brother of corruption. At the same time they are fighting for electoral reform. The two issues make a dangerous combination for the Hashemite throne.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 29, 2012
Obama’s Grand Diplomatic Offensive for using a pacified Syria to persuade Iran to be accommodating at the coming nuclear negotiations is not yet in the bag. It is dogged by Saudi objections and problems with its policy Syria due to flawed US intelligence both about Assad’s survivability and the opposition’s cohesiveness.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 22, 2012
Riyadh sees Iran counting its profits from sanctions-boosted oil prices regardless of extra Saudi pumping. Washington blocked the sale of arms for a Saudi strike against Iran and shut the Jordanian route for Saudi troops to enter Syria. The two Kings Abdullah are at odds.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 2, 2012
Opposite the fragmented Free Syrian Army rebels, Assad’s army is suffering from the spreading malaise of “defections in place,” a mutiny of complete units with their officers who defy orders but refrain from crossing to the opposition. Why did the Syrian ruler prevent two Iranian warships from entering Tartus port?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 1, 2012
Hamas-Damascus, contrary to Western reports, is firmly maintaining its ties with the Assad regime and the Iranian officials posted to the Syrian capital and Beirut as well as Hizballah, debkafile's sources report. Neither is Hamas seeking to break its ties with Iran, its arms and cash supplier for years. Indeed, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is seizing on the coming Tehran visit by Hamas' Gazan Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh as opening a back door for mending its fences with the Iranian leadership.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 21, 2011
Monday, Nov. 21, Jordan's King Abdullah II arrived in Ramallah at very short notice for his first visit in more than a decade. He came wearing two hats – one for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates and one for Washington – on an urgent mission to pull Abbas back from a peace deal with Hamas which would deposit the Palestinian Authority in the Iranian-Syrian orbit. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is in the picture. So are the Israeli chief of staff's words on a Gaza operation.