DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 5, 2016
Turkey and Saudi Arabia have taken separate steps to break free from Washington’s dictates on the Syrian issue and show their resistance to Russia’s highhanded intervention in Syria. They are moving on separate tracks to signal their defiance and frustration with the exclusive pact between Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin which ostracizes Riyadh and Ankara on the Syrian question. Turkey, saddled with three million Syrian refugees, is desperate for a no-fly, security zone to shelter them on Syrian soil.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 3, 2016
Saudi Arabia has opened a new front in Lebanon against Shiite Iran and Hizballah, after being warned off by Russia and the US from intervention in Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 28, 2016
Mahmoud Abbas is dancing for the first time with Hizballah. He has taken up the proposal to set up militias in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps, partly modeled on the deal he is discussing with the Israeli government for militias in Jerusalem’s Palestinian suburbs and camps.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 1, 2015
debkafile exclusive: On July 30, Hassan Nasrallah pressed into service the elite Hizballah Radwan Force, designed to conquer Israel’s Galilee, for extricating the combined Hizballah-Syrian armies from their month-long failure to recapture the key town of Zabadani - or even breach Al-Qaeda affiliated rebel Nusra Front defenses. This has become a make-or-break challenge for Hizballah, the test of its boasted prowess to win big battles, including a war on Israel, after failing to drive 1,200 Nusra rebels out of the 9-km sq.Zabadani arena, despite Syrian military,artillery and air support
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 11, 2015
Syrian and Hizballah forces are being driven out of their strongholds by ISIS and rebel forces. Iran has not followed through on its promised of reinforcements.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 4, 2015
Israel’s wide-ranging military exercise this week had a hidden agenda of warning Tehran that Israel would not accept a fourth hostile army taking up position on its border if Iranian troops were sent to Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 23, 2015
The US has joined the battle for Qalamoun. debkafile discloses that a US special operations unit, stationed at the north Lebanese Hamat air base, is directing unarmed Aerosonde MK 4.7 intelligence-gathering flights over the Qalamoun Mt arena, 100 km to the west. Since Hizballah is also operating Ababil-3 surveillance drones over the same battlefield, US-Hizballah coordination became necessary. For the first time, the US military is working directly with an internationally-designated terrorist organization – with earthshaking ramifications for Israel’s security and strategic ties with the US.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 13, 2015
Amid Hizballah’s rising war losses, its leader Hassan Nasrallah has strongly urged the Lebanese chief of staff Gen. Jean Kahwagi to send his troops into battle over the strategic Qalamoun Mountain, alongside Hizballah and the Syrian army, debkafile discloses. The Lebanese general gave him a flat no, saying the Lebanese army would not “slip” into any war inside Syria. Despite local gains by Syria and Hizballah, rebel jihadists have grasped that they can slip across into Lebanon unopposed. For now, this battle has no foreseeable resolution, while laying Lebanon open to jihadist spillover from Syria.
Iranian specialists failed to capture a sophisticated anti-Hizballah spying device which self-destructed
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 7, 2014
Hizballah's sophisticated hi-tech optical fiber communications network links its command centers, units, rocket launchers, senior officials’ homes and intelligence branches. Those communications are also ciphered and hard to intercept and decode. Planting an eavesdropping device sophisticated enough to interface with this network is risky and calls for high technological resources and expertise. Iranian experts, determined to hunt down and dissect one such spying device were thwarted Friday, Sept. 5, when their prize self-destructed and killed a Hizballah operative.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 8, 2014
The regular armies of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Israel and Saudi Arabia are all fighting Islamist forces in one way or another, but the militants continue their regional juggernaut.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 8, 2014
Islamists from Syria clash with the Lebanese Army in the northeast, prompting fears that Al Qaeda and its affiliates will spread in the country or spark an all-out Sunni-Shiite war.
Hamas rockets move north up to Haifa. Katyushas from Lebanon aimed at Metulla. Israeli artillery returns fire
DEBKAfile Special Report July 11, 2014
Another half a million Israelis came under rocket attack before dawn Friday, July 11, as Hamas again expanded its rocket radius up to Haifa, 150 km north of the Gaza Strip. A woman of 70 collapsed and died running for shelter after the Haifa siren. Two Katyusha rockets from Lebanon alerted Metullah, Israel’s northernmost town, early Friday. One landed between the Galilee town and Kfar Yuval. There were no casualties. debkafile: It came from a Beqaa village under Hizballah rule. IDF artillery returned the fire. Hamas rocket attacks resumed against southern Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 5, 2014
A small Hizballah force took up position Thursday, June 5, on the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing directly opposite the IDF’s Golan deployment, debkafile reports exclusively. This was the first known instance of a Hizballah unit setting foot on the Golan. Intelligence observers reckon it may be the vanguard for a sizeable force on the way to break the stalemate reached by the Syrian army and rebels in their month-long battle for the town of Quneitra. Assad and Hizballah’s Nasrallah attach high strategic importance to keeping the town under Damascus control.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 26, 2014
Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah in his latest speech Sunday night, May 25, accused the IDF in unusual detail of providing anti-Assad rebels fighting in South Syria and Golan with added firepower. A Western military source told debkafile: “When the senior strategist of a military group shows off his intelligence, that is a declaration of war.” Nasrallah also accused Israel of violent incursions into southern Lebanon, saying, “Until now we haven’t reacted.” But next time “we’ll hit back at once.” Israel’s military chiefs treat this as a Hizballah threat of a dual-front war from Lebanon and Syria.
Western sources: Israel Air Force hits SS-21 batteries, first attack in Syrian war on nuclear-capable missiles
DEBKAfile Special Report February 25, 2014
Western sources report that Israeli Air Force strikes in Lebanon and Syria overnight Monday, Feb. 24 came on the heels of the first use in the three-year Syrian war of a Russian-made nuclear-capable Tochka (Point) surface missile - NATO-coded SS-21 Scarab - which carries a 480-kilo warhead with a range of 70 km. One or more missile were fired earlier Monday by Syrian-Hizballah forces in the battle for Yabroud. Lebanese sources report different IAF targets: a cluster of five Hizballah command posts in the Beqaa Valley, or arms convoys moving between Lebanon and Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 20, 2014
Iran’s Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah are poised for a pounce to grab Lebanon now that its former protecter Saudi Arabia is out of the picture.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 14, 2014
The Lebanese Shiite Hizballah, itself a listed terrorist group, was forced Thursday, Feb. 13 to cancel its most solemn annual event in memory of fabled “special security chief” Imad Mughniyeh for fear of terrorist attack. Hassan Nasrallah traditionally addresses these events. debkafile’s counter-terror sources report that al Qaeda and Sunni extremists have since last July carried out 10 suicide bombings, claiming scores of lives in Beirut and across Lebanon. Security is doubled up for Nasrallah and other top operatives on a tip that they are gunning for them in person.
Khamenei Divorces Rev Guards from Nuclear Negotiations, Awards Them Control of Mid East Trouble Spots
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 13, 2014
Khamenei has pushed the Rev Guards out of nuclear diplomacy and compensated them by leaving their financial empire untouched and giving them control of Iran influence in Mid East trouble spots.
Iran spreads its war wings: Hizballah deepens role in Syria. Israel, Syria, Lebanon “regions of conflict”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 10, 2014
In a policy makeover, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has decided to seal off in a separate policy compartment Iran’s nuclear diplomatic tactics for obtaining sanctions relief - and for dominating the Syrian war negotiations resuming in Geneva, Monday, Feb. 10 - and place Iran’s regional goals in another box. Alongside diplomacy, Al Qods Brigades chief Qassem Soleimani will execute Iran’s expanded regional interventions. Hizballah is already deepening its role in the Syrian civil war, while Lebanon, Syria and Israel are targeted by Tehran as “areas of conflict.”
Putin to visit Tehran. King of Morocco invites Iran to “Jerusalem Committee” – with Kerry’s approval
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 17, 2014
Tehran’s offensive for establishing itself as the leading Middle East power bar none is in full flight. Foreign Minister Javad Zerif used his Moscow visit to invite Vladimir Putin to visit Tehran. The Russian President accepted. The King of Morocco offered Iran of full membership in the Al Quds (Jerusalem) Committee of the Organization of Islamic States, with the approval of US Secretary of State John Kerry. Iran also sent out invitations to Gulf rulers to tour its nuclear reactor at Bushehr, combined with a round table discussion on regional nuclear cooperation.