537 articles tagged "Syria"
How Geneva II Faded and Syria’s Big Chemicals Store Vanished
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 8, 2013, 12:19 AM (GMT+02:00)

Assad spirited his main chemicals stock to safety out of Al Safira to secret hiding places. Obama dropped Geneva II and handing the conference on Syria’s future over to Putin.

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Ankara and Tehran Set up Profitable Ties behind America’s Back
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 8, 2013, 12:19 AM (GMT+02:00)

Turkish-Iranian intelligence cooperation has produced an operation against Syria rebel supplies through Turkey. Tehran wants to redirect Turkish exports from its Israeli route back to Syria, and use the Turkish route to promote Iranian products in Europe.

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Moshe Ya'alon inspecting the Hamas tunnel from Gaza
Israeli defense minister with top generals could have been hit by the bomb trap which injured five soldiers
DEBKAfile Special Report November 1, 2013, 3:57 PM (GMT+02:00)

A Hamas bomb trap was planted in the tunnel discovered last month running from Khan Younes in the Gaza Strip to Kibbutz Ein Hashlosaha. It was triggered when a combat engineering unit came to destroy it Thursday night. Five men were injured, one seriously, including a Lt. Colonel and a major. Four days ago, the tunnel was visited by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and a group of generals. What if they had run into the same booby-trap? Were they lucky or was it not yet in position?

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Russian-made SA-8 missiles stopped from reaching Hizballah
US reports Israeli air strike in Latakia. Other foreign sources: Israel also struck target in Damascus
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 31, 2013, 10:59 PM (GMT+02:00)

A US official Thursday night, Oct. 31, confirmed Arab reports that Wednesday night, the Israeli Air Force attacked a consignment of Russian-made SA-8 Gecko Dgreen mobile missiles in the Syrian port of Latakia to prevent its delivery to Hizballah. Other foreign sources said Israel also struck a similar consignment in Damascus. DEBKA: The leak from Washington to US media angered Israeli officials. US sources explained that the administration, immersed in joint diplomacy on Syria with Moscow, had to demonstrate it was not involved in the Israeli operation.

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Bashar Assad
Huge Al Qaeda Incursion of Syria Slows Demand for Assad’s Ouster
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 24, 2013, 11:31 PM (GMT+02:00)

The largest al Qaeda fighting concentration in the world is overrunning Syria, providing Bashar Assad for claiming support for his rule as the only figure capable of stemming the jihadi tide.

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Hizballah forces parade their prowess
Hizballah is secretly pulling its fighting men out of Syria, elated by victory
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 7, 2013, 10:20 AM (GMT+02:00)

Hizballah is surreptitiously withdrawing thousands of fighting men from Syria after an intervention for saving the Assad regime. debkafile: This withdrawal closes Tehran’s first successful experiment in fielding a surrogate force for determining the outcome of a war in an important strategic arena. Despite heavy losses, Hizballah comes out toughened by combat experience and seasoned in running regular military units in battle under combined Iranian-Syrian command. The Lebanese Shiites have won a tactical advantage over the IDF which has not faced real combat since 2006.

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A chemical weapons store
Russia, Iran, Damascus may crank up border tensions to weaken Netanyahu’s hand in America
DEBKAfile Special Report September 29, 2013, 9:08 AM (GMT+02:00)

Western military sources predict an upsurge of tension this week along Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon, timed for Binyamin Netanyahu’s White House meeting with President Barack Obama Monday, Sept. 30, and his address to the UN General Assembly the next day, Oct. 1. Moscow, Tehran and Damascus may exploit Israel’s weak moment after being pushed out in the cold by the Obama administration’s pursuit of new relations with Tehran, by provoking Israel into a military response and presenting it as the neighborhood warmonger and disrupter of US-Russian diplomacy. 

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Barack Obama announces diplomacy with Iran
Obama launches diplomacy with Tehran after quietly accepting Iran’s current nuclear capabilities
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 25, 2013, 10:05 AM (GMT+02:00)

Iranian President Rouhani avoided shaking President Barack Obama's hand at the UN Tuesday, Sept. 24 – not to rebuff diplomacy with the US but to underscore Iran’s demand for respect as an equal. In secret contacts with Tehran, Obama had already agreed to Iran keeping its enriched uranium stocks. This and other concessions give US Secretary of State John Kerry a flying start for his mission to lead diplomacy with Iran, at the same time as the Israeli-Palestinian track. The US president’s linkage of the two places Israel at a disadvantage.

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Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu behind Putin's shoulder
Moscow pulls away from Kerry-Lavrov deal on Syrian chemical disarmament. Assad gets to keep his WMD
DEBKAfile Special Report September 20, 2013, 9:20 AM (GMT+02:00)

Russian leaders have picked apart the Kerry-Lavrov understanding for Syria’s chemical disarmament - less than a week after it was unveiled in Geneva. Thursday, Sept. 19, Vladimir Putin said he was not 100 percent certain the plan would succeed. His Defense minister Sergey Shoigu denied Russian plans to destroy Syria’s chemical stockpiles on its territory, while Bashar Assad mocked the option of their destruction in America. At the Security Council, Russia’s UN delegate blocked the measure for underpinning the deal, as Secretary of State John Kerry fought to retrieve it.

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Binyamin Netanyahu and John Kerry
Netanyahu: A Non-Player in Obama’s Mid East WMD Blitz
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 19, 2013, 10:44 PM (GMT+02:00)

Netanyahu has reduced Israel to a non-player in US Mid East policies and considerations by sticking to a policy of non-intervention in regional conflicts and shunning military initiatives.

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Turkish warplanes shoot down Syrian helicopter
The Syrian helicopter flight over Turkey fabricated first Assad obstacle to chemical weapons handover
DEBKAfile Special Report September 17, 2013, 12:12 PM (GMT+02:00)

Bashar Assad’ sent a Syrian M-17 helicopter into Turkish air space Monday, Sept. 16, with deliberate intent. Ankara fell into the trap by sending the Turkish Air Force to down the intruder after it failed to heed several warnings, instead of chasing it back to Syria. The incident sent border tensions spiraling and gave Damascus and Moscow the pretext for backing out of the chemical weapons deal under the oversight of the Organizaton for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, so long as the OPCW was headed by a Turkish official.

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John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov close a deal on Syrian chemicals
In Kerry-Lavrov Syrian chemical accord scant punishment. Assad is free to pursue war
DEBKAfile Special Report September 14, 2013, 7:23 PM (GMT+02:00)

The accord for destroying Syria’s chemical stockpiles, which US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov presented in Geneva Saturday, Sept 14, leaves important issues unaddressed. Assad stays in power long term with responsibility for its implementation while waging war – a highly dubious prospect. Kerry will not find it easy to convince Israel leaders when he arrives Sunday that Syria won’t divert some its chemical weapons to Hizballah, away from international control, or that the Syrian chemical deal is not a template for Iran’s nuclear program.

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Secret detente on Syria
Obama promised Putin not to strike Syria after scrapping its chemical arsenal. Russian arms for Assad
DEBKAfile Special Report September 10, 2013, 10:20 PM (GMT+02:00)

President Barack Obama’s two climb-downs on a US strike against Syria are turning out to be part of a secret deal with Vladimir Putin, presented by the former as an accord for stripping Bashar Assad of his chemical arsenal, and used by the latter as an expedient for saving the Assad regime. Both were ready to sacrifice the Syrian rebel movement to their détente. But when Moscow insisted on pulling the teeth of a tough French-US-British draft resolution at the Security Council, the session scheduled for Tuesday was postponed indefinitely.

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Barack Obama favors the Russian proposal
Obama again puts military strike – and vote in Congress – on hold to give Russian proposal a chance
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 10, 2013, 2:23 AM (GMT+02:00)

President Barack Obama contradicted his advisers, Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, in a series of TV interviews early Tuesday, Sept. 10. He said he would put on hold military action against Syria, and delay the vote in Congress “for weeks,” to verify the Russian proposal for Assad to hand over his chemical arsenal to international control, and see if the Syrian issue can’t be solved without military action.  “We know the capabilities of the Syrian army and that is no big problem for us,” Obama said.
 

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US Air Force B-2 stealth bomber
US Air Force will also target Syria’s air force, ballistic missiles and sections of its air defenses
DEBKAfile Special Report September 7, 2013, 8:41 AM (GMT+02:00)

The reports coming out of Washington in the last 24 hours indicate that US President Barack Obama has resolved not just to degrade Syria’s chemical capabilities but also to take down Bashar Assad’s air force, destroy his air bases and knock out his ground-to-ground ballistic missiles, using giant B-52 bombers and B-2 stealth bombers. debkafile: Since the Syrian ruler’s chemical stocks can’t be destroyed by air strikes - only by ground forces, Washington is considering taking down his ballistic missiles, depriving him of the delivery vehicles for his poison gas.

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Russian Nikolai Filchenkov landing ship for Syria
Obama and Putin hold unproductive face-to-face. US pulls non-essential staff from Beirut, SE Turkey
DEBKAfile Special Report September 6, 2013, 4:59 PM (GMT+02:00)

The US Friday, Sept. 6, ordered the withdrawal of non-emergency workers from the embassy in Beirut and the consulate general in Adana, southeast Turkey, and warned Americans against traveling to those areas. The State Department acted after an unscheduled 20-minute one-on-one meeting between Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin on the G20 sidelines at St. Petersburg apparently ended in discord on the Syrian crisis. Another Russian landing craft is headed for the Mediterranean carrying a “special cargo” thought to contain S-300 batteries against a US attack.

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The Israeli Ankor (Sparrow) target missile
Israel conducts joint missile interception test with US in Mediterranean
DEBKAfile Special Report September 3, 2013, 2:37 PM (GMT+02:00)

The US and Israeli Tuesday, Sept. 3, carried out a joint anti-missile missile test in the Mediterranean ahead of possible Syrian-Hizballah reprisals against Israel and Jordan for a US military strike on Syria. The Israeli Ankor (Sparrow) served as the target missile. debkafile: The test indicated that President Barack Obama has upped his plans from “a narrow, limited” attack to a broader offensive for degrading the Assad regime. It also pointed to US-Israeli concurrence that Iran, Syrian and Hizballah were serious about their threats of retaliation.

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Iranian parliamentarian Ala-Eddin Borujerdi in Damascus
Iran, Russia advise Assad to transfer chemical stockpile to Tehran - to avert US attack
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 2, 2013, 9:59 AM (GMT+02:00)

The Iranian parliamentarians visiting Damascus Sunday, Sept. 1, advised Bashar Assad to move his chemical stockpile out of Syria for temporary storage in Tehran under Iranian and Russian military supervision, so as to ward off an American military strike, debkafile reveals. Chairman of the Majlis Foreign Affairs Committee Ala-Eddin Borujerdi suggested destroying the chemical arsenal as an alternative. Tehran wants to prevent a US attack on Syria – both to conceal the Iranian provenance of the nerve agents and to avoid any precedent for a strike against Iran.

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Israel's Chariot tanks on the Golan
Obama’s climb-down on Syria attack spells “military nightmare” for allies Israel, Turkey, Jordan
DEBKAfile Special Report September 1, 2013, 11:48 AM (GMT+02:00)

President Barack Obama’s about-turn Saturday night, Aug. 31 on the planned US military operation against Syria’s chemical weapons has shaken up the volatile Middle East balance of strength, giving Israel, Jordan and Turkey “a military nightmare.” By suspending the US military threat, Obama has given Iran, Syria and Hizballah the time and freedom to stage a pre-emptive strike against America and its regional allies. Israel’s authorities are taking no chances and keeping in place the military and security preparedness on the country’s Syrian and Lebanese borders.

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Obama delays Syria strike indefinitely by turning decision over to Congress
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 31, 2013, 10:04 PM (GMT+02:00)

President Barack Obama shocked a tense world Saturday, Aug. 31, when he dodged a decision on a US strike on Syria by referring it to Congress. In a speech to the American people, he said the use of chemical weapons by Bashar Assad must be “confronted not just investigated,” but then said, “We are ready to strike whenever we choose. This operation could take place tomorrow, next week, or next month. In so saying, Obama granted Assad and Co. time galore for counter-moves and put Israel in a tight spot.

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