DEBKAfile Special Report June 23, 2015
Monday night, June 22, a Druze mob from the Golan village of Majdal Shams ambushed an Israeli ambulance carrying seriously injured Syrian rebel fighters to hospital, seized the vehicle and beat them up. They attacked Israeli troops who tried to intervene. One Syrian died in hospital; the second is critical. Also Monday night, in South Syria, rebel groups fell out and started killing each other. In this highly heated atmosphere, the Druze issue is being pulled into the roiling heart of the Syrian conflict. The fallout is slipping over into Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 20, 2015
Jabal Druze and southern Syrian Druze leaders have reached a mutual non-belligerence understanding with the Syrian rebel militias fighting in the region, including Al Qaeda’s arm, the Nusra Front. This is reported exclusively by debkafile. The US and the King of Jordan have guaranteed the deal concluded Friday June 10. On the spot, Jordan opened a corridor for military assistance and supplies to half million Druze in mountain villages. The southern Druze pledged not to allow the 8 Druze militias loyal to Bashar Assad to operate from their territory.
Syrian rebel force launches offensive near Golan to clear path to S. Damascus. Israel acts to protect Druze
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 17, 2015
Jaysh Hermon (the Army of Hermon) Wednesday, June 17, launched a broad offensive on Syrian army forces in the Quneitra and Hermon sectors bordering on Israel, to capture the Syrian army’s 68th Brigade headquarters Khan al-Shih which commands the main Quneitra-Damascus highway, debkafile reports. This would clear their path to the southern suburbs of Damascus from which to encircle government troops defending the capital. The US command in Jordan warned Jaysh Hermon not to harm Syrian Druzes, as Netanyahu, Yaalon and Eisenkott interceded personally for their safety.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 11, 2015
Israel has a historic commitment to its Druze citizens and so the dangers besetting more than half a million of their distressed Syrian brethren on Jabal Druze, 88 km from its border, and 38 km from Jordan, confronts the Netanyahu government with a grave dilemma. Conceding to Israeli Druze leaders’ demand to send them arms would draw Israel out of its long abstention from direct involvement in the Syrian conflict. But refusing many thousands of Druze refugees admission, if put to flight by Islamists, is not an option, which may not be precluded anyway by sending weapons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 4, 2015
Reliable sources in Tehran expect the government to invoke the 2006 Iranian-Syrian defense pact “in the coming hours” to urgently airlift substantial numbers of Iranian troops to Syria to save Bashar Assad’s regime and his army from collapse. This is reported exclusively by debkafile. Syrian army divisions are breaking up under the ISIS assault on the northern Kurdish town of Hasakeh, and the onslaught of the Syrian opposition Army of Conquest on the southern town of Deraa. The troops are fleeing the front lines of both embattled cities.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 4, 2015
Assad has done business with Al Qaeda in the past against the US in Iraq and with fellow-Baathist Saddam Hussein’s former top general, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 28, 2015
Assad has pulled his army back on four fronts and relies on a foreign Shiite legion to defend his regime against swelling rebel and ISIS forces.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 13, 2015
Amid Hizballah’s rising war losses, its leader Hassan Nasrallah has strongly urged the Lebanese chief of staff Gen. Jean Kahwagi to send his troops into battle over the strategic Qalamoun Mountain, alongside Hizballah and the Syrian army, debkafile discloses. The Lebanese general gave him a flat no, saying the Lebanese army would not “slip” into any war inside Syria. Despite local gains by Syria and Hizballah, rebel jihadists have grasped that they can slip across into Lebanon unopposed. For now, this battle has no foreseeable resolution, while laying Lebanon open to jihadist spillover from Syria.
First ISIS Shooting Attack into Israeli Golan, First Ambush of US-Backed Syrian Rebels near Quneitra
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 30, 2015
ISIS has pushed down from eastern Syria into the South reaching to within a stone’s throw of Israel’s Golan border. The jihadis conducted their first ambush against US-backed Syrian rebels near Quneitra, killing six officers and men.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 30, 2015
Heavy influx of US arms and Saudi cash is bringing the Syrian opposition, including the Islamist Nusra front, victories against Assad’s army. Assad has asked Tehran for new guarantees for his presidency.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 17, 2014
The Syrian rebel Yarmouk Shuhada Brigades, backed and trained in Jordan for two years by US officers and supported by the Israeli army, has abruptly dumped them and switched to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, debkafile’s exclusive sources reveal. This sudden defection leaves IDF defense formations on the Golan, US and Jordanian deployments in the northern part of the kingdom, and pro-Western rebel conquests in southern Syria in danger of collapse. ISIS gains direct access to a long section of Israel’s Golan border with Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 9, 2014
The Israeli government has radically changed tack on Syria, reversing a policy and military strategy that were long geared to opposing Syrian President Bashar Assad, debkafile reports exclusively. This reversal was prompted by the increasing preponderance of radical Islamists among the Syrian rebels fighting Assad’s army in the Quneitra area. It calls for a delicate balancing act. While loath to see Assad winning the Syrian war, Israel has no desire to have Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, Al Nusra, sitting just across the Golan border in control of Quneitra.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 11, 2014
Syrian and Hizballah troops – commanded by Iranians – are close to taking the city of Aleppo and the whole of Idlib Province, a major strategic gain against anti-regime rebels.
Israel struck nine Syrian targets in response to boy’s death, and as a boost for the rebel bid for Quneitra
DEBKAfile Special Report June 23, 2014
Israel carried out nine strikes against Syrian military targets after midnight Monday, June 23, in retaliation for a Kornet rocket attack which killed an Israeli boy, and injured two others a few hours earlier. They were conducted by air and by Spike NLOS anti-tank missiles (Tamuz), against the Syrian 90th Brigade command center in Quneitra and three battalions. The IDF Spokesman said this was in response for ongoing cross-border aggression. debkafile: It was also an opportunity to help Syrian rebels break their standoff with Syria forces in the battle for Quneitra.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 29, 2014
Iran pulling together Shiite army of Afghan refugees to aid Assad’s depleted forces, as the US begins training Syrian rebels.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 27, 2014
President Barack Obama is due to unveil a program for the expansion of US involvement in the Syrian war against the Assad regime and al Qaeda elements. He is expected to announce in an address at the US Military Academy at West Point Wednesday, May 28, military training for moderate rebels and a regular supply of sophisticated weapons, including possibly anti-air systems. The Arab world perceives this as a move to counteract Russian, Iranian and Hizballah intervention in the Syrian conflict - or even as payback for Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 26, 2014
Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah in his latest speech Sunday night, May 25, accused the IDF in unusual detail of providing anti-Assad rebels fighting in South Syria and Golan with added firepower. A Western military source told debkafile: “When the senior strategist of a military group shows off his intelligence, that is a declaration of war.” Nasrallah also accused Israel of violent incursions into southern Lebanon, saying, “Until now we haven’t reacted.” But next time “we’ll hit back at once.” Israel’s military chiefs treat this as a Hizballah threat of a dual-front war from Lebanon and Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 22, 2014
The US backs local Syrian militias in effort to take south Syria and establish intelligence on the ground, but Assad is countering key bid for Quneitra.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 15, 2014
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Israel Wednesday May 14 for talks with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon from an inspection of the US-Jordanian underground command center located 10 kilometers north of Amman, debkafile reports. It was the first visit by a high-ranking US official to a US military facility directly involved in the Syrian war. His talks in Jordan and Israel will determine whether the US-backed rebel forces engaged in battle for control of the Golan town of Quneitra, open a new southern front against Bashar Assad and threaten Damascus.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 13, 2014
Nine Syrian rebel militias are advancing on the main Syrian Golan town of Quneitra (pop: 20,000) to wrest from the Syrian army its last Golan foothold with access to the Israeli border. The first objective of their Operation “Levant of the Prophet” is to seize the Quneitra-Ein Zivan crossing, before targeting Quneitra the town. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who visited the Golan Tuesday, May 13, said, “Syrian rebels have pushed Assad’s military into a corner.” debkafile: Quneitra’s fall would free the Golan and S. Syria of the presence of Assad’s army and Hizballah.