549 articles tagged "Syria"
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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John Kerry accuses Bashar Assad
Countdown on for US strike on Syria. Kerry: Assad's chemicals killed 1,429 Syrians, 426 children
DEBKAfile Special Report August 30, 2013

Friday, Aug. 30, US Secretary of State John Kerry accused Bashar Assad of responsibility for poison gas attack on 11 Damascus sites on Aug. 21, causing 1,429 deaths, including 426 children. His words signaled the start of the countdown for the US military strike on Syria, which debkafile’s military sources estimate could be launched from this moment until US Labor Day on Sept. 2.  America cannot look the other way, he said. He also cited US concern for the proximity to Syria of US friends Israel, Jordan and Turkey.

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Barack Obama
A Limited US Strike on Syria Would Give Putin, Assad and Khamenei Upper Hand
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 30, 2013

By promising to pull his punches, President Barack Obama gave America’s rivals, Russia, Iran and Syria the advantage in their bout over Syria – even before the punches were delivered.

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Barack Obama and Bashar Assad
The Pared down US "Strike" Will Leave Syrian Air Force, Arsenals and WMD Intact
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 30, 2013

By sticking to Tomahawks as the only weapon for attacking Syria, Barack Obama reduces the list of targets and leaves Assad’s chemical arsenal, missiles, air force and regime unharmed.

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The US May Face a Russian Surprise and Iranian Cyber Ambush
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 30, 2013

The Russians will not seek a military brush with the Americans but may seize Syrian territory to keep it safe in case Bashar Assad is forced to flee Damascus. The Iranians may try and disrupt US destroyers at sea by a cyber ambush of their systems.

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President Barack Obama interviewed on Syria
Obama says no decision yet on strike on Syria. DEBKA: He stalls for deal with Putin on softened strike
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 29, 2013

Although Barack Obama had decided to attack Syria over its use of chemical weapons – either Friday-Saturday, Aug. 31, or after Labor Day of Sept. 2 -  he now says there is no decision yet.  debkafile: Obama is stalling in order to buy time for Secretary of State John Kerry to strike a secret deal with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: the US would soften its strike on Syria, reducing it to a token blow, following which the US and Russian presidents would announce the convening of Geneva-2 for ending the civil war.

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Mid-East including Israel on high alert after Obama’s failed last-ditch bid for Syria deal with Iran
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 26, 2013

Monday night, Aug. 25, saw Middle East countries, including Israel, on high military alert after learning of US President Barack Obama’s failure to reach an understanding with Tehran to avert a US-led operation against Syria over its chemical attacks. debkafile: Obama’s two emissaries were Deputy UN Secretary Jeffrey Feltman and Sultan Qaboos of Oman. Tehran’s rebuff signaled orders to US military assets in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf to go on high preparedness. Iran, Russia and Syria redeployed in readiness for Syria to face attack.

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Tehran Doubles its Military Strength in Syria, Adds Revolutionary Guards
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 23, 2013

Because of the coup in Egypt, Iran doubled its military strength in Syria in fear of losing its last Arab foothold. Protecting Shiite shrines is a useful rallying cry for volunteers.

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkey Aids US Plan to Oust pro-Iranian Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Maliki
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 23, 2013

Erdogan’s peace package with the Kurdish PKK is falling apart. Iran is trying to plant agents in the PKK for a proxy clandestine war on Turkey. Erdogan is helping the US devise a plan for getting rid of Iraqi PM Nuri Maliki, Tehran’s pawn in Baghdad.

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