DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 8, 2013, 11:02 PM (GMT+02:00)
Large Syrian forces through Tuesday night, Oct. 8, tightened the siege on the rebel-held town of Khan Arnabeh which is the key to controlling the main highway from the capital, Damascus, to the Syrian Golan. The town is expected to fall quite soon. Its capture also provides the key to the central crossroads around the Golan town of Quneitra and will enable the Syria army to return to the UN-policed disengagement zone dividing the enclave between Syria and Israel. debkafile: The rebels are putting up no more than token resistance.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 4, 2013, 1:08 AM (GMT+02:00)
The mainstream Syrian rebel FSA is for the first time willing to discuss local ceasefires in parts of Damascus, Aleppo and Homs, with officers of Assad’s army.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 29, 2013, 8:08 AM (GMT+02:00)
Three months after the fall of Al Qusayr, the combined Syrian and Hizballah armies have captured the key city of Homs, 162 km northeast of Damascus. Its fall opens the way for Syrian-Hizballah forces to move in on Aleppo for a decisive victory. debkafile: Washington, Jerusalem and Ankara have run out of time for quibbling over whether to step into the Syrian conflict. The Obama administration must decide fast whether to let Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers win the Syrian civil war or stop them at Aleppo.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 25, 2013, 10:24 AM (GMT+02:00)
A logistics base for handling tanks, missile systems, self-propelled artillery bound for Syria and Hizballah is secretly under construction at Port Sudan, debkafile reports exclusively. Iranian Revolutionary Guards engineers in civilian dress are overseeing the hundreds of Sudanese workmen laboring flat out to build Iran’s second Red Sea base after Assab in South Eritrea. It is designed to handle Iran’s largest warships and submarines with a large arms depot that will cut in half the sea route for Iranian heavy arms to reach Iran’s Syrian and Hizballah allies.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 3, 2013, 12:31 AM (GMT+02:00)
The thousands of Israeli military reservists rushed to the Syrian and Lebanese borders this week were told they would take part in a drill starting next Sunday. In fact, they opened up the border outposts and other facilities which had been shuttered for years and reactivated them as backing for ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2013, 11:09 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Syrian army’s 4th Division-Republican Guard cleared most of the rebels out of the eastern suburbs of Damascus Monday, April 8, debkafile reporst. Bashar Assad’s brother Maher at the head of the 4th Division, executed a surprise pincer movement spearheaded by tank and artillery fire, in time to impede the rebel advance on the center of Damascus and the international airport. This major operation is assumed to have been designed by Assad’s foreign advisers, Iranian or Russian, and averted a chemical attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 5, 2013, 12:42 AM (GMT+02:00)
The rebel fighters’ newly-acquired antitank guided missiles-ATGM (of both Russian and American manufacture) are knocking over the T-72 tanks of the 4th Republican Guard Division and the 3rd Division, the backbone of the capital’s defenses, while their portable MANPAD air defense systems have brought practically all takeoffs and landings ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 19, 2013, 12:50 PM (GMT+02:00)
Bashar Assad has evacuated most of the troops of his 5th Army Division from their permanent bases on the Golan opposite Israeli forces and transferred them along with their artillery to Damascus, debkafile’s military sources report. This step was intended by Assad to reinforce the defense of his capital, while at the same time providing the al Qaeda-linked fighters in rebel ranks direct access to the Israel border. In no time, the jihadists are expected to turn their guns and missiles on Israel.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 21, 2013, 10:19 PM (GMT+02:00)
Moscow Monday, Jan. 21 said two Russian planes would land in Beirut Tuesday to evacuate 100 Russians from Syria, and contingency plans were in hand to lift 30,000 Russians from the embattled country. debkafile: This was decided after Bashar Assad told his high command to organize mobile armored strike groups for a big push to evict rebel forces from the places they captured. Russia and Iran have stepped up their arms deliveries to Assad’s army by sea and by air in support of Assad's coming offensive.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 29, 2012, 11:23 AM (GMT+02:00)
Moscow and Tehran have advanced from their strategic partnership for Bashar Assad's survival to military cooperation. debkafile: An Iranian naval maneuver began in the Straits of Hormuz Friday, Dec. 28 - two days after Russia launched its largest naval war game ever in the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. As Iranian-made Fateh A-110 missiles were fired this week by the Syrian army under Iranian officers, Moscow rapidly expanded the deployment of its highly-sophisticated S-400 interceptors near the Turkish border.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 8, 2012, 4:39 PM (GMT+02:00)
US, Turkish, British, Jordanian and French forces stand ready around Syrian borders awaiting the order to go forward still to come from US President Barack Obama. debkafile: President Bashar Assad is regrouping his army in defense array in strategic parts of Damascus, while planting mines and bomb traps in abandoned bases. Convoys carrying missiles, shells and canisters armed with chemical weapons continue to ply roads to the north, while the airlift of Iranian arms is rerouted to Palmyra.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 17, 2012, 9:35 PM (GMT+02:00)
Two Bashar Assad external supporters took significant military steps Wednesday, Oct. 17. Russia started moving advanced S-400 interceptors over to its southern military region opposite Turkey, as Ankara’s clashes with Assad’s forces intensified. Hizballah began removing rockets and fighting units out of their South Lebanon positions opposite Israel and transferring them to the Homs front as back-up for Syrian forces. This attests to the rising scope and fury of the Syrian army’s onslaught on rebel forces.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 4, 2012, 1:29 PM (GMT+02:00)
Turkish artillery continued to pound Syria Thursday, October 4, with the aim of carving out a 10-kilometer buffer strip inside Syria, debkafile reports. Several Syrian army bases and positions inside this strip have taken direct hits and a large number of Syrian troops were killed or wounded. Turkey hopes its artillery barrage will help Syrian rebels create a 50-km long protected corridor between Aleppo and the Turkish border. Ankara and Damascus have both imposed a blackout to keep events under control and avoid a full-blown war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 30, 2012, 10:19 AM (GMT+02:00)
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta commented Monday, July 30 on his way to the Middle East that the assault on Aleppo, “will ultimately be another nail in Assad’s coffin.” He spoke after the Free Syrian Army’s Saudi and Qatari intelligence backers based in Apaydin, Turkey, admitted that the ferocious Syrian government onslaught had derailed for now their safe haven scheme for the Aleppo region which was to have housed the FSA forward command and a Benghazi-style transitional government. Rebel-held Salaheddin has fallen.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 6, 2012, 6:29 PM (GMT+02:00)
In 17 months of brutal operations, the Syrian army has lost 8,763 dead and 21,357 wounded soldiers, 600 tanks and APCs, and a stream of high-ranking defectors. Yet neither Bashar Assad nor his ruling family appears to falter or fear failure. Why? Because Assad has purged the top command of veteran commanders and installed loyal Alawites in their stead. How does the desertion of Brig.-Gen. Manaf Tlass, 105th Brigade commander of the Republic Guard and member of a prominent Sunni clan, fit into this picture?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 2, 2012, 10:05 AM (GMT+02:00)
In a phone call to the Kremlin Sunday, July 1, Syrian President Bashar Assad said he needed just two months to finish off the revolt against his regime. “My new military tactics are working,” he said, as his regime and the Syrian opposition rejected the UN-sponsored peace plan approved in Geneva Saturday. debkafile also reports exclusively that Assad’s "new tactics" consist of retiring the top army command and replacing it with Shabiha thugs armed with an unheard-of level of fire power. Syrian-Turkish border tension continues to climb.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 22, 2012, 11:24 PM (GMT+02:00)
Syria apologized for the downing of a Turkish military F-4 over Syrian territorial water Friday, June 22. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan denied receiving an apology. Before going into an emergency meeting of government and military heads, he said it was not clear how the plane was lost. Hizbalah’s media reported it was ambushed by Syrian anti-air missiles. debkafile: This was Syria’s revenge for a Syrian air force pilot’s defection with his MiG-21 Thursday, which Damascus believes was organized by US and Turkish intelligence.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 23, 2012, 7:10 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israeli border lookout points report that in the last two days, large groups of armed Syrian soldiers have been seen deserting their Golan bases and prowling for water and food, after their regular supplies were stopped and redirected to units fighting anti-Assad rebels. They don’t ask Israeli soldiers for food, but parcels thrown across the fence vanish in a trice. Meanwhile, gangs, some local, some from Jordan and Iraq, are raiding the unguarded Syrian facilities on looting expeditions and stripping them of equipment.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly February 1, 2012, 2:15 PM (GMT+02:00)
An undercover operation to topple Bashar Assad has been set in motion by a large group of nations, the US, Britain, France, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar– the most elaborate of the Arab Spring cycle. The latest DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday has the details and weighs its chances of success. The operation aims to bypass the Russian veto stacked against any effective UN Security Council resolution for halting Syrian bloodshed by striking at Assad's support structure of loyal troops and Russian-Iranian backing.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 30, 2012, 9:38 PM (GMT+02:00)
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.