DEBKAfile Special Report July 24, 2012
The Defense Ministry’s Amos Gilead and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz administered tranquilizers Tuesday, July 24, to allay fears of war with Syria, Hizballah and Iran. Gilead said that the Assad regime was in full control of Syria’s unconventional weapons, while Gen. Gantz indicated that Israel has no plans for attacking Syria. Damascus’ threat of chemical warfare against external attacks was hence not applicable. By contradicting Israel’s prime minister and defense minister, the two security chiefs sowed confusion in the Israeli street.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 23, 2012
Senior Israeli military officers, referring to the Syrian foreign ministry statement Monday, July 23, that Syria would only use chemical weapons against “external aggression” said this was a direct threat by the Assad regime to turn those weapons against Israel. There was no denial of their potential transfer to Hizballah against which Israel has vowed to use force. debkafile: Assad keeps carte blanche for chemical warfare. Obama warns Assad he will be held accountable if he makes tthe “tragic mistake” of using chemical weapons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 22, 2012
Israeli, Turkish and Jordanian armies and US Middle East forces were on the ready Sunday, July 22, in case Syrian chemical weapons moved toward Lebanon, debkafile reports. Acting in unison, those armies are watching out for the slightest movement, because it would take just two hours to cover the distance from Syria to the Hizballah-controlled Bakaa Valley of Lebanon. Their arrival there would mean a war. So the IDF prefers to stop the arsenal in its tracks before it reaches the Lebanese border.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 19, 2012
Bashar Assad kept his cool after losing his closest intimates and senior axe men of his savage campaign against the rebels. He replaced them all in a jiffy and carried on his war without breaking stride.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 19, 2012
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 July 19, 2012
Iran, Syria and Hizballah resolve to up their terror assaults on “strategic” Israeli targets in step with the worsening war situation in Syria and a looming attack on Iran’s nuclear program, debkafile reports.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 17, 2012
The fall of Damascus may be drawn-out, bloody and excruciating. It will also have wide regional repercussions, as debkafile shows in this exclusive video, because neither the Assad regime nor Iran will take it lying down.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 11, 2012
At least 11 Russian warships are heading for Syria from their Black Sea and North Sea bases; NATO’s rapid response Maritime Group 2 is on its way to the E. Mediterranean too, and five Israeli warships are already deployed. The French nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle-R91 is making for the French naval base at Port Zayid, Abu Dhabi, opposite the Strait of Hormuz. In Riyadh, high Saudi officials are convinced a US strike against Iran is coming soon - before or after the November election.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 30, 2012
Agreement on a Syria-led transition based on mutual consent that includes members of the current government” was reported by UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan from the Action Group on Syria meeting in Geneva Saturday, June 30. He avoided mentioning Bashar Assad, but was not able to conceal the gap between Washington and Moscow over the Syrian ruler’s fate: The US still wants him gone, while Russia is still adamant about propping him up. That is the devil in the Annan peace effort.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 30, 2012
Aviation Week reports: “Evidence is mounting that the US defense community and the Obama administration view 2013 as the likely window for a bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear and missile facilities.” The chaos of the Syrian government’s fall could be used “to disguise such an attack,” the journal suggests. “The tools…are all operational.” Friday night, top US and Russian diplomats failed to bridge differences on Syria ahead of a UN-sponsored Action Group parley in Geneva. Military preparations are building up for an attack on Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 28, 2012
Saying “An Islamist flood threatens us all, the Russian president put before the Israeli prime minister propositions of a secret conduit through Moscow to Tehran and help for mending Turkish-Israeli relations in return for a Russian stake in Mediterranean oil.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 27, 2012
Another urgent bid for the US to lead an allied offensive against Syria’s ruling regime fell on deaf ears. It came Tuesday, June 26, from Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who is spoiling for action over the Syrian shoot-down of a Turkish military plane last Friday. Obama turned him down and urged US, British, Turkish and French covert operations to continue. Erdogan is forced to resort to the strategy employed by Binyamin Netanyahu on a nuclear Iran - tough rhetoric accompanied by inaction.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 26, 2012
Unconfirmed first reports from British, French and Turkish sources say British special forces crossed from Turkey into northern Syria Tuesday, May 26, advancing up to 10 kilometers inside the country. Those sources also report heavy fighting around the Republican Guards compound guarding Bashar Assad's palace on Mount Qaisoun overlooking Damascus. This two-pronged assault on the Assad regime, if confirmed, began at the end of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Israel. It challenges his repeated objections to foreign intervention.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 24, 2012
Al Qaeda infiltrators from Libya are spearheading much of this month’s anti-Israel violence from Sinai and the Gaza Strip - a dangerous development Israel, Hamas, Egypt and the US prefer to conceal. It appears to tie in with the arrival of al Qaeda’s ex-Iraq fighters in Syria as part of its leader's master plan. Deeply concerned to check the spillover from Libya into Egypt, Cairo has posted its elite counter-terrorist “999 unit” in El Arish, on Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip and along the northern sector of its frontier with Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 23, 2012
Syria Friday shot down the Turkish Super Phantom jet with the sophisticated self-propelled medium range anti-air Pantsur-1 missile recently supplied by Russia. Short of time to master the improved missile system, the Syrian crews would have called on their Russian instructors to help launch them. debkafile: Moscow and Damascus may have decided to stop the almost daily Turkish air force flights over the Syrian coast for spying on Russian arms deliveries through the Russian bases of Tartus and Latakia.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 21, 2012
Russian President Vladimir Putin started putting his plans for Russia to displace the US at key Middle East points at the Moscow nuclear talks and the G20 summit in Mexico where he enlisted China and Iran to defeat Washington’s plans. Starting out with a scheme of revenge for Libya, his horizon has since widened to blocking US President Barack Obama's Arab Revolt objectives and his policies for Syria and Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 19, 2012
debkafile postulates Syria’s division into spheres of influence as the big powers move in.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 18, 2012
Military tensions around Syria shot up again Monday, June 18, with an Iranian report that a joint Russian-Chinese-Iranian exercise is to take place in Syria, called “the biggest of its kind ever staged in the Middle East,” with 90,000 personnel, 400 air planes and 900 tanks taking part. debkafile: This would be the first time Russia and China have deployed substantial military strength in the Middle East. It points to their determination to deter a US-lead military operation against the Assad regime.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 17, 2012
Moscow is using the time up until Russian President Vladimir Putin faces US President Barack Obama across the G20 conference table in Los Cabos, Mexico Sunday, June 17 – or its corridors - to ship sophisticated anti-air, anti-ship arms to Syria able to prevent a no-fly zone being imposed. A fleet of Russian warships is also heading for Tartus. If the two presidents come to terms on Syria and Iran, the planned US and allied intervention in Syria may be delayed. If not - quickened.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 16, 2012
Amid the worsening violence in Syria, US official sources said Saturday, June 16, that US intervention was not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ and defined its format as “Libya lite.” Pentagon officials earlier reported a Russian contingent was on its way to Syria to guard the Russian base at Tartus. As the Syrian civil conflict mounted onto the plane of major power intervention, Maj. Gen. Robert Mood announced that the UN observer mission he heads had suspended activities and patrols.