DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 17, 2011
Lebanon has a new government headed by Najib Mikati, ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hizballah. Formed suddenly on June 13, the 30-minister lineup has earmarked an unprecedented 18 portfolios – including defense and interior – to Hizballah loyalists and pro-Syrian politicians. While fighting the uprising against his rule, Bashar Assad has recaptured Beirut. The appointment of friendly Fayez Ghosn as defense minister places the army at the service of Damascus and portends trouble on the Lebanese-Israeli border.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 16, 2011
Turkey considers giving Bashar Assad a last chance before resorting to military action after receiving the promise of a US shield against Iranian or Syrian missile retaliation. Assad, for his part, is rigidly fixated on his harsh crackdown and a victory over the rebels against his regime.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 16, 2011
Assad's decision to bank on the army to extinguish the revolt against him is paying off. The US and the West could have starved him of funds for his crackdown by an embargo on Syrian oil experts – but refrained from doing so. In any case, the Syrian economy is about to crash
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis June 12, 2011
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is championing the Sunni Muslims of Jisr a-Shughour against the tanks and helicopters of his erstwhile allies Bashar Assad, Iran and Hizballah, to promote his ambition as a leading Muslim power. Sunni Muslims outside are avidly watching the Muslim Brotherhood's first challenge in any Arab uprising to an Arab army in battle, hoping for large-scale Syrian army defections in defiance of the ongoing massive purge of the rebellious town.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 10, 2011
The Syrian crisis has taken a dramatic turn: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Friday night, June 10, decided to move his army into northern Syria where battles were blazing in Idlib, Maarat al-Numaan and Jisr al-Shuhour, debkafile's sources report. His government is considering defining its mission as the protection of civilian lives against a barbaric ruler citing the UN Security Council resolution on Libya. Refugee camps will also go up on the Syrian side of the border to stem the flow into Turkey.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 2, 2011
Bashar Assad's survival unscratched from the uprising against him would have been impossible without expert and active aid from Iran and Hizballah. It has left the radical Iran-led axis alive and kicking. And the Syrian experience has honed the Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah collaboration into a formidable pro-Shiite combined fighting force. Assad will now seek revenge on his foes.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 25, 2011
debkafile's intelligence sources report that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has secretly ordered his government officials to dump Ankara's ties with Damascus with all speed and allowed Syrian opposition leaders to meet in Antalya on May 31-June 2 on ways to topple Bashar Assad. He is also thinking twice about a Turkish role in the June flotilla for breaking the Gaza blockade for fear Assad might seize on a clash at sea as a pretext for attacking Israel in an undesirable show of Syrian-Turkish solidarity.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 30, 2011
After shelling, tank assaults and siege left 100 protesters dead in the last 48 hours without quelling the unrest, Western intelligence sources believe the menace to the regime has careered too far for President Bashar Assad to hold it at bay - an assessment shared by Ankara. The protest is likely to keep on spreading and evolving into armed rebellion. Those sources estimate the uprising as already encompassing 6-7 million Syrians (out of a population of 26 million) and a third of its area.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 29, 2011
US President Barack Obama is building an alliance with Turkish premier Tayyip Erdogan to spearhead Washington's evolving Iranian and Middle East policies. Turkey, NATO's only Muslim member, is slated to replace Egypt as America's senior Middle East Muslim partner. The two leaders share the conviction that together they can come up with a coherent policy for shaping a democratic Middle East.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2011
The uprising against the Assad regime in Syria finally knocked over the Turkish-Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah axis. Erdogan's vision of Turkey as the all-purpose super-mediator vanished into the blue yonder. He is now trying to climb back on the horse through the Muslim Brotherhood chapters of Egypt and Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2011
While no one admits this, the military campaign to topple Muammar Qaddafi has stalled with no solution other than diplomacy. The first peace proposal has come from the coalition's target, Qaddafi himself.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 23, 2010
While offering Washington its good services,Turkey is taking advantage of US trust to deepen its ties with Iran, its superpower status for the Muslim world and its plans for a new anti-American Muslim bloc.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 17, 2010
The mounting opposition to Erdogan's policy comes from his own president and party leaders, who criticize his Middle East orientation as strengthening Iran at the expense of Turkey to the detriment of its future economy.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 11, 2010
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had the thankless task of writing finis on the Obama administration's two-year effort to persuade Israelis and Palestinians to talk peace. It was time "to grapple with the core issues of this conflict" - borders, refugees, settlements, water and Jerusalem – she said, without mentioning timetables. debkafile reports the administration has now turned to a new plan for employing Turkey - first to broker a deal with Iran, then an Israeli-Syrian accord.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 8, 2010
Russia's Vladimir Putin has reached out to the beleaguered Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to get in on the ground floor of the as-yet untapped Lebanese offshore energy fields, debkafile reports. He has also tested the ground for dipping into the Israeli gas bonanza, while offering Turkey substantial benefits in Moscow's Lebanese scheme. If Putin's multi-faceted plan works, Russia and Turkey will have a stake in Hariri staying in power and a stable Lebanon.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 7, 2010
Israeli and Turkish representatives have just held two meetings for the purported objective of patching up Turkey's quarrel with Israel. All that has come out of Ankara so far, however, is a fresh torrent of anti-Israel abuse from Turkish leaders and harsher terms for settling the feud over the Israeli commando raid of May 31 which killed 9 Turkish activists leading a flotilla to break the Gaza blockade, debkafile's Middle East sources report.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 21, 2010
By bowing to Ankara's demand to omit Iran, Syria and their ballistic missiles as a threat from the NATO agreement to establish a missile shield base in Turkey, President Barak Obama has rendered worthless any US security guarantees offered Israel - especially in view of his quiet consent to placing the facility under a Turkish general.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 15, 2010
China has decided to throw its military support behind Iran and the radical Middle East camp it leads including Syria and Turkey. Beiijng likes the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's plan for reviving the Non-Aligned Movement established in the 1950s.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 12, 2010
The arrival of a new Middle East player has startled Washington and Jerusalem: debkafile's military sources disclose that when Turkish Prime Minister Tayyep Erdogan met Syrian president Bashar Assad in Damascus Monday, Oct. 11, they talked less about the Kurdish question and more about the role China is willing to play in the military-intelligence alliance binding Syria, Iran and Turkey. Chinese warplanes took part in Turkey's recent air maneuver after breaking their journey to refuel in Iran.