DEBKAfile Special Report January 12, 2013, 9:34 PM (GMT+02:00)
French President Francois Hollande placed the country on high domestic terror alert Saturday, Jan. 12, in case of retaliatory attacks by al Qaeda for French operations against two of its African wings: a failed mission to rescue a French hostage from the Somali Shabaab, and air and commando aid for the Mali army’s drive to stop advancing Islamists. The Islamists threatened to execute at least eight French hostages, one by one, unless French forces pulled out of Somalia and Mali at once.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 11, 2013, 12:00 AM (GMT+02:00)
Since the US pulled its fleet away from Syrian shores and the rebels’ arms supplies began drying up, Turkey and Israel assumed defensive postures vis a vis Syria, while the rebels began thinking about reconciliation with Bashar Assad.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 9, 2013, 5:29 PM (GMT+02:00)
The three-way prisoner exchange of thousands of Syrian, Turkish and Iranian prisoners Wednesday, Jan. 9, was the first deal between Bashar Assad and the rebels. This turning-point in the 22-month Syrian conflict was made possible by the Syrian ruler’s confidence in his survival and the rebels’ realization that it was their only chance to save some of their war gains. The POW swap may lead to a lull in the fighting as both sides build up their resources – either to win the war or improve their future bargaining position.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 4, 2013, 12:02 AM (GMT+02:00)
The early emergence of Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities confused the Americans, produces US warnings and Israeli threats. Turkey soon applied to NATO for Patriot missiles.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 4, 2013, 12:01 AM (GMT+02:00)
Syria launches Scuds against the rebels as they near the Al Safira chemical weapons depot. Lavrov asserts that the weapons are under control – for now. Netanyahu goes to Amman for talks with King Abdullah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 24, 2012, 7:13 PM (GMT+02:00)
Turkey’s resumption of strategic cooperation with Israel through NATO is a major breakthrough for Binyamin Netanyahu. He is constantly accused of bringing Israel into deep international isolation as he runs for reelection. NATO and Turkey undercut that charge. Barack Obama worked hard to heal the breach between Ankara and Jerusalem - both to strengthen his burgeoning pro-US Middle East axis and to pave the way for the resuscitation of Israel-Palestinian peace talks in March, 2013 in accord with Netanyahu.
DEBKAfile Video December 19, 2012, 11:28 AM (GMT+02:00)
debkafile Exclusive: The Russians have given Bashar Assad his most sophisticated weapon thus far – the Iskander cruise missile which has a hypersonic ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 16, 2012, 10:33 PM (GMT+02:00)
Amid another peak wave of violence in Syria, Washington has quietly withdrawn from its waters the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier and its Strike Group and the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group with 2,000 Marines aboard. Russian vessels have meanwhile unloaded at Tartus a large consignment of arms for Assad’s army. Adding to stresses around Syria, Ahmadinejad cancelled a scheduled trip to Turkey, citing the warning by Iran’s military chief that the deployment of Patriots in Turkey heralded world war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 9, 2012, 12:03 PM (GMT+02:00)
US, Israeli, Jordanian and Turkish special forces are on the ground in Syria, armed with special gear for combating chemical arms. They are close enough to count the convoys carrying poison gas weapons, augmented by US military surveillance satellites and drones able to pinpoint their position at any moment. But it is feared that Bashar Assad has moved the chemical arms to secret caches and so US and other Western forces are poised opposite Syria’s borders ready to strike for any unforeseen move.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 6, 2012, 10:44 PM (GMT+02:00)
President Barack Obama is holding back from ordering an attack on the Syrian army’s chemical units – just as the Syrian ruler is abstaining from issuing the “go” order to use those weapons. It seems that neither wants to go first. Stormy weather is a complicating factor which plays ...
DEBKAfile Special Report December 6, 2012, 8:13 AM (GMT+02:00)
American officials said Wednesday, Dec. 4, that they believed bombs had been made ready with sarin gas, but not yet loaded onto fighter planes and Assad had not issued the “go” order. The USS Eisenhower Strike Group has reached the Syrian coast with 8 fighter bomber squadrons and 8,000 servicemen. With the USS Iwo Jima, the US has posted opposite Syria 70 fighter-bombers, 17 warships and 10,000 American fighting men – all in apparent readiness for US intervention in the Syrian conflict.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 4, 2012, 9:51 PM (GMT+02:00)
As NATO in Brussels gave the go-ahead Tuesday night Dec. 4, for the deployment of Patriots to protect Turkey against Syrian missiles, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reported convoys of the Syrian army’s chemical weapons units heading out of Damascus under cover of dark and turning north up the road to Aleppo. They were ferrying self-propelled cannons and shells armed with poisonous sarin gas. Assad used the heavy winds, cloud and rain to obstruct Western attacks on the convoys.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 30, 2012, 1:56 AM (GMT+02:00)
Since the US has taken the lead in the coalition backing the Syrian rebellion, the rebels are going for strategic targets, including anti-air missiles for knocking Assad’s bombers out of the sky.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 30, 2012, 1:56 AM (GMT+02:00)
President Obama admires President Morsi and wants him aboard his burgeoning anti-Iran Sunni alliance. The Egyptian street is baying for his blood.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 29, 2012, 11:58 AM (GMT+02:00)
Thursday night, Nov. 29, the UN General Assembly grants Palestine non-member observer status within the 1967 borders by majority vote. But to which Palestinian rule does it apply? Abbas’s Fatah is fading, whereas the extremist Hamas in the Gaza Strip is a rising force. If it qualifies for a place in the Sunni Middle East grouping Egypt, Turkey and Qatar are building with US backing and Israeli approval, Hamas may become the beneficiary of the upgraded Palestinian status won by Abbas.
DEBKAfile Video November 28, 2012, 9:16 AM (GMT+02:00)
Israel’s operation was an intel coup to shut Iran’s gateway to Cairo via Hamas.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 27, 2012, 9:47 AM (GMT+02:00)
Tuesday, Nov. 27, the Middle East military spotlight swung around from Gaza to Syria with the start of US and NATO intervention. A game changer began unfolding with the site survey begun by a joint Turkish-NATO team for the deployment of Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems manned by American military teams. debkafile: Although billed for “defensive purposes,” the Patriots will in fact impede Syrian air bombardments over all of northern Syria, including the embattled towns of Aleppo and Homs.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 25, 2012, 8:53 AM (GMT+02:00)
Even before the Gaza conflict was over, the next major steps were in motion: US-manned Patriots and Awacs are in the pipeline for deployment on the Turkish Syrian border; Moscow moved its Black Sea Fleet’s naval task force opposite Gaza/Israeli shores, joining Tehran’s concern that the US-led coalition which wrecked Iran’s “southern front” in Gaza would turn against Syria and Hizballah. The US and Israel are braced for violent Iranian retribution; while Egyptian President Morsi’s troubles could undo the fragile Gaza ceasefire.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 9, 2012, 1:17 AM (GMT+02:00)
Obama has decided to break through the Syrian stalemate by sending scouts out to find a Syrian rebel with leadership qualities who is fighting Assad in Syria. When this leader is found and approved by the president, the United States will provide him and his militia with advanced hardware ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 26, 2012, 12:38 AM (GMT+02:00)
Obama’s tactics for blocking Binyamin Netanyahu’s options for attacking Iran are now being applied to the Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan to hold him back from direct military intervention on the side of the rebels in Syria and dragging American in too.