DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 2, 2012
A special intelligence assessment listing the prospects and risk of the various options for Ayatollah Khamenei conclude that Barack Obama will not hazard an attack on Iran before the November election but if he is returned to the White House he will go to war early in 2013. The chances of an Israeli attack are deemed slim but not to be ignored. Tehran is negotiating for a Russian nuclear and aerial umbrella.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 29, 2012
US President Barack Obama Tuesday, Feb. 28, vetoed plans submitted to him last week for Western-Arab military intervention in the Syrian crisis, debkafile reports. He is weighing an alternative plan for setting up “humanitarian corridors” in the most embattled areas. That too would be contingent on Russian endorsement, because Obama believes Moscow holds the key to Assad’s consent - or at least abstention from sending his army to attack the aid routes. No Russian response as yet to feelers from Washington.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2012
The Sarkozy plan for Syria is based on reserving a quarter of Syrian territory as a safe haven protecting a quarter of its population under a coalition air shield. No foreign boots will touch the ground. After rounding up the UK, Italy, Turkey and Qatar, the French president is waiting for Obama’s nod because with the Americans the operation is not feasible.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2012
The US Pentagon and Israel’s high command are taking Tehran’s threat of preemptive action with the utmost seriousness as changing the rules of the standoff. It was issued to provide Iran with grounds for claiming international legitimacy for any preemptive military action launched against Israel or American targets as lawful self-defense.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly February 21, 2012
In its latest issue out Friday, DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s exclusive sources detail the exact points reached in the debate between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government over an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Washington is seen working Israel’s domestic scene to build up an anti-attack opposition, as a gleeful Iran keeps track of the new climax in the US-Israeli spat. And discover the new turnabout in Moscow’s policies toward Washington, Tehran and Damascus before it surfaces in this eye-opening issue.
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DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 17, 2012
Middle East capitals are puzzled by the Obama administration’s willingness to cast the Arab bloc and its Syrian concerns aside and collaborate with Turkey on the Assad issue. Why is non-Arab Turkey the blue-eyed boy in Washington and not the Gulf Arabs? The answer in some Middle East capitals is that President Obama trusts Ankara to open his diplomatic door to Tehran.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly February 14, 2012
Bent on Bashar Assad’s ouster, the US and the Gulf Arab powers are swinging around an array of options – all of them military. The coming DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday weighs the chances of, say, an international militia, protected zones, a Western-Arab air umbrella for the Syrian resistance or, most probably, arming the Syrian Free Army with heavy weapons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 10, 2012
Russia has a comprehensive long-term plan to overtake - or at least match - America as a world superpower and it therefore extends a helping hand to any Middle East and Arab power, principally Syria and Iran, willing to defy Washington. Moscow is also betting on Bashar Assad winning the Syrian conflict.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 4, 2012
The West and Russia had a major showdown Saturday Feb. 5 over the Arab League resolution calling on Bashar Assad to step down. US President Barack Obama said the UN must take a stand against his "relentless brutality" and hold a vote before the end of the day. The vote was defeated by Russian and China vetoes. debkafile: Moscow backed its hard line against the West by putting Rapid Reaction Force (aka Spetsnaz) units on the ready to set out for Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 3, 2012
To pierce the layers of armor devised by Syrian, Russian and Iranian strategists to keep Assad afloat, the Western-Arab bloc is recruiting top Syrian generals to march on Damascus and unseat the dictator.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 31, 2012
Syrian President Bashar Assad is reported by Persian Gulf sources Tuesday, Jan. 31 to have confided to his advisers that he will start up a regional conflict if the UN Security Council calls on him to step down. The heads of the Syrian armed forces and intelligence have been given their orders. Other sources tell debkafile that the Russian flotilla in Tartus appears to be on alert and Sunday, a US nuclear submarine and destroyer sailed through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 30, 2012
President Bashar Assad Sunday, Jan. 30, pulled in the Syrian Republican Guard and the 4th armored division commanded by his brother Maher Assad from the north to Damascus, debkafile reports exclusively. He deployed them in battle positions in the capital for the first time following an intelligence tipoff that one of the armored division commanders had been won over by Western powers and persuaded to stage a coup d'etat in time for Tuesday's UN Security Council meeting on Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 26, 2012
The Syrian ruler is still fully in control in Damascus, contrary to the reports propagated by the opposition. He is still backed by the high army command and supported by Iran and Russia. The Assad regime will be in danger only if two of those three backers turn against him.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 20, 2012
Bashar Assad, universally hated and despised for his brutality, is confounding predictions of his imminent downfall with the help of tactical, arms and propaganda assistance from Russia and Iran. Al Qods Commander Maj. Gen. Haj Qassem Soleimani directs the Iranian team in Damascus and military advisers attached to Syrian Army riot dispersal units. From Lebanon, Hizballah pumps out emergency reinforcements for the Syrian military.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 22, 2011
As NATO cargo planes airlifted Libyan fighters to join the anti-Assad Free Syrian Army units in Turkey, Syrian forces armed with Russian spy satellite intelligence waylaid FSA rebels and deserters, killing them where they stood. A large-scale exercise prepares Syrian army to repel a combined offensive.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 16, 2011
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 Analysis December 11, 2011
Iran is driving a hard bargain for granting Russian and Chinese teams access to the US stealth drone RQ-170 it captured undamaged last week. debkafile reports: The price, they were told, includes advanced nuclear and missile technology, especially systems using solid fuel, the last word on centrifuges for enriching uranium and the S-300PMU-1 air defense system, which Moscow has consistently refused to sell Tehran. Israel's prime minister sent foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman to Moscow to try and stop the deal.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 9, 2011
Iran's electronic trap for snaring the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel, one of the world's most secret drone programs in almost perfect condition, must be accounted a huge military and intelligence coup and a landmark in the long tussle over Tehran's nuclear program. It may have acquired the technology for its cyber attack from Pakistan, China, or even Russia.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 1, 2011
After failing in Libya, Russia's Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev are determined not to let Syria, Moscow's only strategic partner in the Middle East, slip out of their hands. If Bashar Assad can't be saved, Moscow wants to be sure Damascus does not fall completely under Western sway.