Western sources: Israel Air Force hits SS-21 batteries, first attack in Syrian war on nuclear-capable missiles
DEBKAfile Special Report February 25, 2014, 9:34 AM (GMT+02:00)
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, 10:57 PM (GMT+02:00)
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, 10:44 AM (GMT+02:00)
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, 10:20 PM (GMT+02:00)
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, 10:03 AM (GMT+02:00)
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, 2:21 PM (GMT+02:00)
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.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 17, 2014, 1:09 AM (GMT+02:00)
The joint trip made to Moscow by the Iranian and Syrian foreign ministers on Jan. 16, marked the day the US stepped aside for Russia as Mid East kingpin and elevated Iran’s status over the heads of the Sunni powers and Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 17, 2014, 1:09 AM (GMT+02:00)
Iran’s foreign minister twisted Hizballah leader Nasrallah’s arm to accept a plan for sharing power with his rivals in a national unity government.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 13, 2014, 11:16 AM (GMT+02:00)
The US and Iran agree to treat Tehran’s regional policies as separate from nuclear diplomacy to forestall obstacles which such opponents as Saudi Arabia and Israel may raise. Monday, Jan. 14, senior US sources admitted: “The US and Iran have sought to insulate the nuclear negotiations from the tensions over Iran’s regional policies.” On the Syrian issue, governments near and far will attend Geneva 2, but Israel is not invited, although events in next-door Syria and Lebanon directly impinge on its security. Sharon would not have taken this snub lying down.
Iraqi Al Qaeda claims Lebanese bombing. Sunni terror in hot pursuit of Shiites from Baghdad to Beirut
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 5, 2014, 11:12 AM (GMT+02:00)
Iraqi Al Qaeda (ISIS), advancing Saturday, Jan. 4, on Baghdad from captured areas of Sunni Falluja and Ramadi, also claimed to have carried out the bombing attack Thursday, Jan. 2, on Hizballah’s political headquarters in Beirut. debkafile: Al Qaeda in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon are clearly in mid-momentum of a drive to seize footholds across a wide swathe of the Middle East, spanning three Arab capitals - Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut - in the role of Sunni knife slicing through the Shiite axis of Iran, Syria and the Lebanese Hizballah.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 1, 2014, 4:49 PM (GMT+02:00)
A tip-off by Western intelligence agencies in Syria led to the Lebanese arrest of Majid al-Majid, the Saudi leader of the al Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades. This group has been held responsible for bomb attacks on the Iranian embassy in Beirut and Hizballah strongholds, as well as rocket attacks on northern Israel. debkafile: Al Majid was arrested in Beirut on Dec. 30, on returning from Syria where he signed a cooperation pact providing the Nusra Front with logistical facilities at Abdullah Azzam stronghold in S. Lebanon near the Israeli border.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 16, 2013, 7:11 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel appeared ready to accept the Lebanese explanation that a member of its armed forces acted on his own initiative and “did not consult his station" before shooting to kill Israeli Navy Master Sgt. Shlomi Cohen, 31, Sunday, Dec. 16. At the UNIFIL inquiry they attended Monday with Israeli liaison officers, the Lebanese called it a one-time incident. debkafile: This did not answer the questions surrounding the attack, the second in three days. However, the US, France and the UN leaned heavily on Jerusalem to de-escalate the incident.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 23, 2013, 11:59 PM (GMT+02:00)
The undercover duel between Iran and Saudi Arabia escalates as it moves out of Syria into Lebanon and Iraq.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 24, 2013, 11:31 PM (GMT+02:00)
As Al Qods rounds up a Shiite legion across the Middle East to fight for Damascus, Hizballah is deeply reluctant to stay in the Syrian war arena any longer. The Saudis are pushing for a government in Beirut that will pull Hizballah out of Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 4, 2013, 1:08 AM (GMT+02:00)
Hizballah begins pulling its troops out of Syria in obedience to a directive from Tehran and turns his attention to building a national consensus in Beirut in order to foster a pacific and stable climate in Lebanon.
The sarin shells fired on Damascus - by Syrian 4th Division’s 155th Brigade - were followed by rockets on Israel and car bombings in Lebanon
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 24, 2013, 11:32 AM (GMT+02:00)
Within 48 hours, Assad and Iran launched a three-point punitive offensive for foreign intervention in the Syrian war, debkafile reports. The facts: The sarin nerve gas shells which claimed more than 1,000 Syrian lives Wednesday, Aug. 21, were fired by the 155th Brigade of the Syrian army’s 4th Division commanded by Gen. Maher Assad from Mount Kalmun. This atrocity was followed by a rocket attack on Israel from Lebanon and deadly blasts in Tripoli. The price for not stopping Assad and Tehran now is likely to become even grimmer.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 22, 2013, 9:16 PM (GMT+02:00)
The four rockets striking Israel from South Lebanon Thursday, Aug. 22, were Grad 120mm rockets launched by the Jihad Islami from the Palestinian Burj Al-Shamali refugee camp near Tyre. This emerged after a stream of muddled and conflicting communiqués came from the IDF spokesman. The Jihad Islami takes its orders from Tehran and the Lebanese Hizballah. One of the rockets was intercepted by Iron Dome. None inflicted casualties, except for three shock victims, but they did cause damage to buildings and vehicles in two locations.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 6, 2013, 11:28 AM (GMT+02:00)
Assad’s al Qusayr victory Wednesday, June 6, presented the US, Israel and the Western alliance with a major strategic debacle. They paid the price of leaving the Syrian-Hizballah military machine orchestrated by Iranian officers a clear field. This machine is ready to trample Aleppo and southern Syria. Israel is next in its sights.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 19, 2013, 10:08 PM (GMT+02:00)
Shortly after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged Sunday, May 19, to maintain Israeli operations in Syria against advanced Iranian weapons for the Lebanese Hizballah, Syrian troops and their Hizballah comrades captured Al-Qasayr, gaining command of the high road to Lebanon’s Hermel Mountains.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 13, 2013, 7:49 PM (GMT+02:00)
Saudi Arabia is exploring dialogue with its great regional rival Iran for ending the Syrian conflict and assuring Lebanon’s political stability, after giving up on US policy for Syria, debkafile’s Gulf sources report. Monday, May 13, the Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers got together in Jeddah.