DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 8, 2011
The Syrian ruler has ordered his military chiefs to get set to launch their biggest operation to destroy the protest movement bedeviling his regime for nearly six months, debkafile's military sources report exclusively. All units are deployed on full preparedness around the protest centers for coordinated strikes in the coming days and all leaves cancelled.The five divisions posted on the Israeli border have been pulled back. Aleppo has staged its first major anti-Assad rally.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 6, 2011
Home Front Commander Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg warned Monday, Sept. 5 of the increasing peril of a total Middle East war in the wake of the Arab revolts and Israel's rift with Turkey. His comments shocked Israel's policy-makers and defense establishment out of their placidity. The defense minister's adviser Amos Gilead, hurriedly denied this prediction. "Israel's security situation has never been better," he said insisting "The Arab regimes around us are stable."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 4, 2011
debkafile's US sources disclose that the Erdogan government may act as though it calls the shots in the region to cow Israel, but Turkey is fast sliding into deep economic slump. In Washington, the Erdogan government's threat to incite an "Arab revolt" against Israel is seen as beyond acceptable diplomatic bounds, while its other threat on maritime movement in the Mediterranean is ridiculed: "The Turkish Navy is no match for Israeli missile boat technology, electronic jamming and tracking systems, submarines and close air cover."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 2, 2011
For two years, Turkey has tirelessly maligned Israel, aided its enemies and schemed to destroy its army's strategic value as a key American ally. This campaign hit a serious contretemps in the UN report out Friday, Sept. 2 which justified Israel's Gaza blockade and its navy's interception of a Turkish vessel bent on breaching that blockade, although Israel was assailed for its "excessive response" to the violence of Turkish extremists. Ankara thereupon expelled the Israeli ambassador and suspended its military accords with Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 19, 2011
Bashar Assad took the extra 10-15 days awarded him by US and Turkey as a grace period to finish his military slam against protest and introduce reforms. This was not intended and so Barack Obama finally told him he must go.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 19, 2011
After ruling out direct military intervention, most governments concerned in the drive to oust Bashar Assad find that arming the rebels and pumping thousands of Sunni volunteers into Syria are the only feasible option. But before this plan is up and running, he is expected to preemptively employ the Lebanese Shiite Hizballah for heating up the Lebanese-Israel border or even spark an all-out conflagration between the two long-time foes which would quickly ignite the Golan border between Syria and Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 19, 2011
Saudi Arabia, which embarked on building a strategic Sunni Muslim bloc six months ago, has done a lot better in a shorter time than even king Abdullah's strategic and intelligence advisers predicted. Harnessing Turkey, a major military power and NATO member, to their grouping is an unforeseen windfall. By jumping aboard the Saudi grouping Turkey opened the door to rapprochement between King Abdullah and President Obama. They talked last week for the first time in months about the Syrian crisis.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 15, 2011
Taking advantage of the 15-day leeway granted him by the US and Turkey, Bashar Assad Monday, Aug. 15, sent tanks and mechanized infantry into Homs, a town of 1.5 million inhabitants. Heavy shelling rings out as clouds of smoke rise over the city. Homs is Syria's third largest town and the biggest the Syrian military has attacked. In Latakia, Syrian tanks continue to battle armed Palestinians and in Brussels, NATO and Turkey get set to send the rebels anti-tank weapons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 12, 2011
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's Damascus mission started with a military ultimatum and ended on a weak note which drew a contemptuous reaction from Bashar Assad. Damascus is working against the clock. Assad hopes to have broken the back of the anti-Assad protest. Otherwise, zero military conscription will break the army.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 10, 2011
Less than 24 hours after Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu handed Bashar Assad in Damascus "a final warning," to stop the bloodshed or else, Assad demonstrated coolly that he is not scared by the prospect of Turkish or NATO military intervention or deterred by new US sanctions against Syria's biggest bank and mobile phone company. The day after his Turkish guest departed, Wednesday, Aug. 10, Assad launched provocative military assaults on three towns in the Turkish border region - following receipt of a missile shield guarantee from Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 9, 2011
Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu left Damascus empty handed after six hours of talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad Tuesday, Aug. 9. Assad indicated the military operation against the protesters would soon be over, but refused to commit to a deadline. That was up to the rebels, he said, not him or the Syrian army. He pledged to "pursue the terrorists." It remains to be seen whether Turkish Prime Minster Tayyip Erdogan makes good on his ultimatum of military intervention unless the bloodshed ends.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 8, 2011
As his tanks and artillery stormed the eastern Syrian town of Deir al-Zour, killing 100 civilians in one day, the US and Turkey Sunday night, Aug. 7 began to turn the screw on President Bashar Assad: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu to press Syria to "return its military to the barracks," during his visit to Syria Tuesday. The Syrian ruler with Iranian backing spurned the ultimatum even before the minister reached Damascus.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 5, 2011
Thursday night, Aug. 4, the commanders of Syria's military crackdown on the city of Hama ordered suspected protesters to be picked up off the streets for summary execution. Within hours, hundreds of victims were "executed" by firing squad in Nasser Square. The order was issued when the military failed to overcome mounting resistance.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned Syrian President Bashar Assad: "We are watching how the situation is developing. It's changing and our approach is changing as well."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 19, 2011
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan wants to visit Gaza next Sunday or Monday (24-25 July), debkafile reports. But both Turkish and Egyptian security services fear the visit would give the al Qaeda cells based in the Gaza Strip and Sinai a chance to assassinate him. Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas maintains it would amount to de facto Turkish and Egyptian recognition of the Hamas government. And in Jerusalem, Erdogan would appear to be deliberately hampering efforts to heal its rift with Ankara.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 5, 2011
The United States, Britain, France and Turkey are spearheading a plan to preserve Bashar Assad as Syrian president while cutting away his support system of relatives and political and military chiefs and replacing them with "moderate opposition" figures, debkafile reports exclusively. But the process is marred by profound mutual mistrust: The West suspects he has no intention of abandoning his savage crackdown on protest, while Assad suspects he is being set up for a Turkish invasion.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 4, 2011
The Palestinian Authority is broke. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad appealed to "donors and our Arab brothers" Sunday, June 3, for urgent assistance after being forced to halve civil servants' July wages. The US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia could save the PA from bankruptcy – in theory. But, debkafile reports, the Saudis prefer to channel cash to Jordan and Washington's bailout is conditional on Mahmoud Abbas dropping his unilateral UN initiative and going back to negotiations with Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 2, 2011
The organizers of Freedom Flotilla II against Israel's naval blockade on Gaza – among them Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal's son-in-law Hamoud Tareq - never dreamed the stalling of their expedition would be served up as the founding step of the nascent pro-US Israel-Greek-Turkish alliance. If Mahmoud wants to jump aboard this grouping, he must drop his UN move for Palestinian recognition, so pre-empting the storm Binyamin Netanyahu's ill-wishers are counting on for ending his rule.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 27, 2011
Iran's big war game was launched Monday, June 27 ahead of a Turkish operation against Syria's Assad regime anticipated by its military and Revolutionary Guards chiefs, with the unveiling of its first underground missile silo. debkafile reports Tehran expects the Turkish army to have US air and naval support in case of Iranian reprisals against them both. Israel moves an Iron Dome rocket interceptor battery to Haifa.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 25, 2011
As Turkey heads for a military showdown with Syria, Ankara has agreed to restore military and intelligence collaboration in the eastern Mediterranean with Israel, debkafile reports. The deal worked out between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also returns Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to a role in Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy and gives him a chance to try and bring Hamas aboard. Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon finalized the details in secret talks in Ankara.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 24, 2011
Obama and Erdogan had divided up Arab Revolt missions between them, targeting another two Arab rulers, Muammar Qaddafi and Bashar Assad, for eventual eviction – first by diplomacy, then by force - when Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi jumped in with a demand for NATO to halt hostilities in Libya pronto.