DEBKAfile Special Report April 17, 2013, 10:23 PM (GMT+02:00)
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Wednesday, April 17, that 200 troops of the US 1st Armored Division had been sent to Jordan to give the United States the ability to "potentially form a joint task force [with Jordan] for military operations, if ordered" by the President. debkafile’s military sources report that they are ranged on the Jordanian-Syrian border to counter a potential Syrian attack. In a potential war between Syria and Jordan backed by US troops, Israel would almost certainly become involved.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 30, 2013, 2:45 PM (GMT+02:00)
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 January 28, 2013, 8:31 PM (GMT+02:00)
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 4, 2013, 12:01 AM (GMT+02:00)
Syria launches Scuds against the rebels as they near the Al Safira chemical weapons depot. Lavrov asserts that the weapons are under control – for now. Netanyahu goes to Amman for talks with King Abdullah.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 1, 2013, 11:10 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israeli officials have held talks in Jordan with Syrian opposition officials “in advance of a possible Israeli-US operation in Syria to protect the Golan Heights,” Western intelligence sources reported Tuesday, Jan. 1. There was no further information about this operation. The goings-on on the Israeli and Jordanian borders with Syria are officially blacked out. But European intelligence sources reveal nightly border clashes between US, Jordanian, Israeli special forces and Syrian rebels, on the one hand, and Syrian special forces, on the other.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 30, 2012, 9:08 PM (GMT+02:00)
Both sides to the Syrian conflict appear to have launched a form of poison chemicals against their foes. Western and Middle East military sources say pro-Assad forces may have brought into the Homs battle of Dec. 23 imported gas grenades which Iran used to quell the 2009 Tehran riots. debkafile: Although Jordan claimed Sunday it “would not enter into any alliance to protect itself,” large NATO and US forces have prepared the kingdom for chemical attack. Some intelligence sources estimate Turkey or Israel may be next after Jordan.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 4, 2012, 9:51 PM (GMT+02:00)
As NATO in Brussels gave the go-ahead Tuesday night Dec. 4, for the deployment of Patriots to protect Turkey against Syrian missiles, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reported convoys of the Syrian army’s chemical weapons units heading out of Damascus under cover of dark and turning north up the road to Aleppo. They were ferrying self-propelled cannons and shells armed with poisonous sarin gas. Assad used the heavy winds, cloud and rain to obstruct Western attacks on the convoys.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 27, 2012, 9:47 AM (GMT+02:00)
Tuesday, Nov. 27, the Middle East military spotlight swung around from Gaza to Syria with the start of US and NATO intervention. A game changer began unfolding with the site survey begun by a joint Turkish-NATO team for the deployment of Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems manned by American military teams. debkafile: Although billed for “defensive purposes,” the Patriots will in fact impede Syrian air bombardments over all of northern Syria, including the embattled towns of Aleppo and Homs.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 17, 2012, 10:14 AM (GMT+02:00)
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 12, 2012, 12:51 PM (GMT+02:00)
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 July 19, 2012, 11:45 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran and Damascus have decided to initiate their war on Israel with terrorism, reserving chemical weapons for use first against the rebels and Jordan. Syria’s rebels have also procured chemical weapons from Libya.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 21, 2012, 11:41 PM (GMT+02:00)
Syrian President Bashar Assad Thursday night, June 21, ordered his entire Air Force fleet of fighter bombers grounded to guard against more defections. Syrian officials are sure that the defection of Col. Hasan Merhi al-Hamadeh, who flew to Jordan aboard a MiG-21, was set up by the CIA - with more to come, to show the Syrian people and Arab world that even the Syrian air force, the part of the armed forces most loyal to Assad, was in fact slipping away from him.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 28, 2012, 5:59 PM (GMT+02:00)
The 12,000-strong US-Arab special forces exercise, Eager Lion 2012, ending in Jordan Wednesday, May 30, broadened the orbit of international intervention in the Arab Revolt and preparations for war with Iran. The ground section took place near the Syrian border, while the marine section practiced landings on Aqaba beaches and mountain terrain resembling strategic sites in Iran. A Russian ship has meanwhile delivered heavy ammo to Syria, soon to be followed in Tartus port by the North Korean arms ship Odai.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 16, 2012, 9:31 AM (GMT+02:00)
Special operations units of the Iranian army and Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Tuesday, May 14, began a two-day practice of offensive tactics, for the first time dropping large-scale forces from the air deep behind enemy lines. The many war games Iran has conducted until now focused on defenses of strategic and nuclear locations and repelling invaders. It began on the same day as the US-led multination nation special forces exercise in Jordan and was staged deliberately near the Afghan border.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 16, 2011, 2:06 PM (GMT+02:00)
Expanded Russian military support for the Assad regime was underscored by the deployment Friday, Dec. 16, of advanced Moscow-supplied Yakhont (SSN-26) shore-to-sea missiles along Syria's Mediterranean shore to fend off a potential invasion by sea. Last week, Russia airlifted to Syria 3 million face masks against chemical and biological weapons; and the Admiral Kutznetsov strike group headed out to Syria's Mediterranean port of Tartus. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in Ankara; Syrian Vice President Farouk a-Shara in Moscow.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 15, 2011, 11:40 PM (GMT+02:00)
Syria has moved Scud missiles, some tipped with chemical warheads, to its border with Turkey, reinforced its tank units on the Jordanian border and airlifted from Russia three million face masks against chemical and biological weapons.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly December 13, 2011, 12:00 PM (GMT+02:00)
By deploying US troops on the Jordanian-Syrian border, the Obama administration played the last piece of its master game for Bashar Assad's ouster – in conjunction with Turkey, France, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar. DEBKA-Net-Weekly's latest issue out Friday offers glimpses of covert US action in Syria alongside counter-steps pursued by Damascus, Tehran and Hizballah.
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DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 13, 2011, 11:18 AM (GMT+02:00)
Units of US troops evacuated from Iraq have been diverted to positions in Jordan opposite a Syrian tank concentration building up across the kingdom's northern border, debkafile reports.The incoming US contingents are housed at the King Hussein Air Base of al-Mafraq, 10 kilometers from the Syrian border. They are the first US boots to hit the ground directly opposite Assad's army, brought there by Bashar Assad's threat to set the Middle East on fire if the pressure against him persists.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 28, 2011, 10:06 AM (GMT+02:00)
In the last 48 hours, the Syrian engineering corps has laid minefields along the Jordanian, Turkish borders to cut down on the influx of weapons and armed manpower supporting the anti-Assad opposition and the outflow of army deserters. debkafile's military sources add: By this action, Syria also aims to seal itself off against foreign military intervention. Since Muammar Qaddafi's death, Bashar Assad fears he is facing Arab military incursions backed by NATO.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 20, 2011, 9:27 PM (GMT+02:00)
Egyptian natural gas is flowing again to Jordan – but not to Israel, debkafile reports. Cairo and Amman are keeping quiet about the resumption of supplies through the Sinai pipeline which was sabotaged five times since February. Cairo has broken off negotiations with Jerusalem on new prices - so making sure that supplies to Israel are cut off for good. As Egypt pulls away from peace ties with Israel, security is breaking down on their common border and the Israeli ambassador's return to Cairo indefinitely postponed.