US drone escapes attack over Hormuz. Syria threatens to bomb Lebanon. Russian marines dock in Beirut
DEBKAfile Special Report March 14, 2013
Middle East tensions are spiraling six days before US President Barack Obama lands in the Middle East. Thursday night, March 14, an Iranian fighter jet tried to bring down a US Predator drone over the Straits of Hormuz – until a US fighter escort fired warning flares. Syria threatened to bomb Lebanon unless Lebanese Islamists stopped pouring into Syria to fight with Jabhat a-Nusra. Three Russian warships carrying marines entered Beirut port for the first time after the Syrian Tartus port was judged unsafe.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 14, 2013
Shiite forces, Iranian, Lebanese and Iraqi, are mustering their strength in Syria to head off al Qaeda’s Syrian momentum carrying over into Iraq and Lebanon.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 22, 2013
If Russian personnel pushed the button of the anti-air missile that allegedly downed an Israeli done over the Lebanese Beqaa Valley, it carried a message from Moscow to Jerusalem to that Lebanon as well as Syria is under its protection.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 18, 2013
Contrary to reports of Hizballah attacks on Syrian villages in the Homs region, a thousand Hizballah militiamen have moved in to defend those Shiite, pro-Assad villages against rebel attack. debkafile reveals: Syrian rebel Islamists are receiving anti-tank missiles from Kosovo and Bosnia. They give the rebels an edge in battle with Syrian troops, but also arm Jabhat al-Nusra for a push into Lebanon to strike Hizballah in its Beqaa Valley strongholds. The Syrian conflict now confronts the Sunni Jabhat al-Nusra head-on with the Shiite Hizballah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 8, 2013
As Syrian rebels advance on the heart of Damascus, Assad arms the 4th Division with chemical weapons for use if necessary to halt the advance. Al Qaeda has moved shop to Lebanon and is harassing Hizballah with nightly raids.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 1, 2013
Obama was convinced that by sundering Assad’s military links with Hizballah, Iran would be isolated and Assad bereft of his regime’s most active support and shield.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 26, 2012
Washington acted fast to hold back Lebanon’s anti-Syrian Lebanese forces from avenging the assassination of Lebanon’s top intelligence chief, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan to save Lebanon from being ripped apart by a civil war. Assad and Nasrallah were allowed to get away with it.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 21, 2012
As Israel and Hizballah teetered on the brink of war, Iran airlifted elite Al Qods units into Lebanon and Syria to shore up the war capabilities and retilt the military balance against Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 15, 2012
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 24, 2012
Nasrallah finds his Hizballah is growing increasingly unpopular at home for aiding and supporting Bashar Assad against the Syrian uprising. He is losing allies right and left and up against the choice between defying his masters in Tehran and losing face at home.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 14, 2012
Bashar Assad has stepped in directly to halt the covert war his Western and Arab foes are waging against his regime through Lebanon. debkafile’s military sources disclose he is now sending Lebanese army commanders direct orders for cutting arms, money, fighters and medical supplies to the rebels, especially in Homs. Last week, Lebanese Chief of Staff Gen. Jean Kahwagi was given a crude ultimatum: Take care of the Syrian rebels’ backers in Tripoli, or else the Syrian army will enter Lebanon and do the job.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 27, 2012
The upgrading and interconnection of two Russian-equipped Middle East electronic and surveillance stations – on Jabal Al Harrah south of Damascus opposite Israel’s Sea of Galilee, and Lebanon’s Mt. Sannine - are tailored by Moscow to give Tehran early warning of a US or Israeli attack, debkafile reports. The two facilities now cover all of Israel and Jordan, the Gulf of Aqaba and northern Saudi Arabia, as well as US and Israeli naval and aerial Mediterranean movements up to Cyprus and Greece.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 5, 2012
Syrian President Bashar Assad has hired hit squads to kill top Lebanese government, intelligence and security officials whom he suspects of helping insurrectionists and Saudi and Qatari agents smuggle fighters and weapons into the country to fight his regime. debkafile's counter-terror sources report that one Lebanese hit squad was captured and confessed to being armed and assigned by Syrian Military Intelligence to murder the two heads of Lebanese Internal Security by rigging bomb cars in Beirut. A second plot targeted a Lebanese lawmaker.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 3, 2012
Monday night, Jan. 2, Al Qaeda claimed to have established its first Jerusalem operational cell calling it the "Sunni Youth Movement Cell in Greater Jerusalem." Bulletin No. 1 with details of the organization and its targets was promised in the next few days. debkafile's counter-terror sources report Israeli security services are taking the development very seriously. They tie it in with Palestinian plans for a West Bank uprising and the jihadist trend spreading through Palestinian centers in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 25, 2011
First, Hizballah reported the unmasking of a CIA network in Lebanon. Then, Wednesday, Nov. 23, an Iranian lawmaker Parviz Sorouri, a member of the Iranian parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee, claimed the capture of 12 CIA spies targeting Iran's military and its nuclear program with the Mossad and regional agencies. Beirut and Tehran had clearly joined forces, debkafile report, to prove they were on top of their security and had smashed dangerous US intelligence networks operating inside their armed forces.
DEBKAfile Special Report October 28, 2011
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 October 28, 2011
Iran and Hizballah declare NATO would never attack Syria, yet they are making military preparations for this very eventuality. Syria's only option to stem arms smuggling to the opposition is to seize large parts of Lebanon and Jordan, thus provoking a NATO assault.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 16, 2011
On the fifth anniversary of Israel's second Lebanon war this week, as former IDF generals and military experts hailed its outcome as the winning deterrent keeping the Shiite terrorist Hizballah at bay every since, Hassan Nasrallah quietly completed the organization's takeover of Lebanon's security and intelligence agencies and took delivery of advanced ballistic missiles from Syria. Hizballah is therefore going from strength to strength in Lebanon – contrary to the view current in top Israeli circles.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 30, 2011
The Lebanese capital was only the first stop for a delegation of the UN-backed Special Tribal for Lebanon investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri. Thursday, June 30, the group arrived in Beirut and presented four arrest warrants against top Hizballah officers. Its next destination may eventually be Damascus for the submission of a second batch of warrants against Syrian officials suspected of controlling the Hizballah hit-team in the commission of the murder.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 17, 2011
Lebanon has a new government headed by Najib Mikati, ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hizballah. Formed suddenly on June 13, the 30-minister lineup has earmarked an unprecedented 18 portfolios – including defense and interior – to Hizballah loyalists and pro-Syrian politicians. While fighting the uprising against his rule, Bashar Assad has recaptured Beirut. The appointment of friendly Fayez Ghosn as defense minister places the army at the service of Damascus and portends trouble on the Lebanese-Israeli border.