Saudi king, followed by GCC rulers, snubs Obama on summit. US fails to isolate Netanyahu on nuclear deal
DEBKAfile Special Report May 11, 2015
Saudi King Salman’s last-minute cancellation of his White House summit with US President Obama was seen as a calculated snub for the president’s Iran and Mid East policies. Two senior Gulf rulers then opted out of the Camp David summit Obama scheduled for Wednesday, May 13 at Camp David: Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isaa Al Khalifa and UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. They meet after Secretary of State John Kerry failed to override Gulf resistance to the US nuclear deal with Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis May 9, 2015
The battle for Qalamoun has suddenly become a critical regional contest for the Iran-Syrian-Hizballah alliance at large and its three prime movers, Syrian President Bashar Assad, Hizballah leader Hassan Nastrallah, and Iran’s Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of the Al Qods Brigades. The Obama administration has launched a new plan to drive a wedge in the Revolutionary Guards leadership by elevating its leader Gen. Jaafari to the regime’s “good guy” and denouncing Gen. Soleimani as the “bad guy" - hoping that degrading him causes Iran to pull in its horns in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 17, 2015
Thursday and Friday, April 16-17, two branches of Al Qaeda took the lead in violent conflicts, catapulting key areas of the Middle East into more peril. In Yemen, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and in Iraq, the Islamic State (ISIS), launched new offensives 3.050 kilometer apart. debkafile: Both branches of the Islamist terror movement used the absence of competent adversarial troops on the ground – American and Saudi - to push forward in the two arenas. They also exploited the contradictions in Washington’s attitude towards their foe, Tehran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2015
Obama’s detente with Iran and recognition of Bashar Assad’s key role in Syria has produced an incredibly sinister new twist in the Syrian war. debkafile reveals: The Yarmouk refugee camp and its 16,000 occupants face not one enemy, but two: the Islamic State and Assad’s army, which opened the way for the ISIS attack. Assad first agreed to split energy revenues with ISIS and went on to outsource the terrorists for a demonstration in Yarmouk to allies and foes alike that he holds the whip hand in the Syrian war and the fate of the Palestinians.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 6, 2015
“If anyone messes with Israel, America will be there.” This conciliatory message was issued by US President Barack Obama in a New York Times interview Monday, April 6. In it, he urged Israel to accept the nuclear deal as the “best bet” and rely on America to “have its back” against Iranian or any other hostility. debkafile: This message, though important, does not cover Iranian’s ongoing aggressive drive for regional expansion by conventional military means backed by terror, or loosen the noose Iran is already tightening around Israel’s borders.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 4, 2015
Tehran produced a short document Friday, April 3, to dispute the account of the outcome of the Lausanne nuclear negotiations as presented in Washington the day before. The US is accused of "spinning" legallly non-binding "solutions" to cover up gaps on enrichment, sanctions, research and development and verification. All sanctions must be annulled in one day upon Iran’s implementation of the final accord, the Tehran document insists, and new sanctions banned. Inspections are ignored including “the verification mechanisms” promised by President Obama.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 26, 2015
Obama has reduced relations with Israel to an all-time low, a sacrifice on the alter of his deepening ties with Tehran.
Iranian Al Qods chief on landmark visit to Amman as guest of Jordan’s national intelligence director
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 9, 2015
debkafile reveals exclusively that Gen. Qassem Soleiman, commander of the Revolutionary Guards elite Al Qods Brigades, paid a groundbreaking visit last Thursday, March 5, to Jordan as guest of Gen. Faisal Al-Shoulbaki, director of General Intelligence and a trusted adviser to King Abdullah II. The visit, encouraged by Obama administration policy, showed one of America’s oldest Sunni Arab allies recognizing the trending Mid East reality to jump the lines over to Tehran. Iran’s grab for influence is reaching from four capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Sanaa, Beirut to a fifth, Amman.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 22, 2015
The US and Iran are in a last-ditch effort to rescue their nuclear diplomacy before it falls into deep crisis. Some observers say the talks are beyond saving. The Obama administration may have hit the limit of its concessions; and Iran won’t give way on centrifuges and enriched uranium stocks. debkafile finds the US, Iran and Israel in a three-way race, each aiming for a different finishing line. Washington wants a nuclear deal in the bag by March 31; Tehran aims for June; while Binyamin Netanyahu nixes the existing US-Iranian draft.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 8, 2015
The strings of the pro-Iranian Houthi rebels’ coup which toppled the Yemeni government in Sanaa were pulled from Tehran and Washington. Their partnership helped the Houthis reach their goal, currently confined to parts of central Yemen and all of the North. debkafile: The uprising’s dominant figure is none other than Ali Abdullah Saleh, ousted as Yemen president in 2012. Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates, Jordan and Israel are watching the US-Iranian partnership in Yemen with deep foreboding. They fear the Obama administration is using the war on Islamists as a façade for promotingTehran’s regional ambitions.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 5, 2015
The UAE suspended its participation in the US-led coalition against ISIS in Iraq after the capture of Jordanian pilot Lt. Mu’ath al Kassasbeh by the Islamic State revealed the absence of personnel and facilities on hand for rescuing coalition air crews falling into enemy hands. The Jordanian pilot was subsequently burned alive. debkafile: The UAE contributed the largest and most modern air force in the Gulf region. But the entire coalition is fraying over the profound concern of all the Arab participants over America's expanding cooperation with Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 13, 2015
The Islamic State’s elite unit wiped out the forward command group of the a commando force belonging to Iran’s Al Qods Brigades early Monday, Jan. 12, killing its commander, Gen. Mehdi Norouzi, at Hashimiyah north of Baghdad. debkafile exclusively reveals ISIS's new tactic of systematically taking down high Iranian officers to throw their forces into disarray. The jihadis affirm the deaths of 555 Iranian officers in four months. Israel’s deep concerns about ISIS effectiveness and close US-Iranian collaboration in Iraq were brushed aside in Washington.
Is Obama ready for an about-face to recognize Assad? Will Syria provide the strike force against ISIS?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 14, 2014
Unconfirmed reports swirled around Arab capitals Sunday, Dec. 14, that President Barack Obama, in league with Moscow and Tehran, had turned his Syrian policy on its head to recognize Bashar Assad’s rule. He was said ready to accept the Syrian army as the backbone of the force battling the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. If true, the Middle East faces another strategic upheaval – and one in the eye for Israel and the Gulf. US-Russian cooperation on Syria and Palestinians would help overcome the Ukraine breach and expand US-Iranian rapprochement.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 12, 2014
The Revolutionary Guards air force interception of a chartered plane carrying US troops from Afghanistan was part of a radical contest with the pro-diplomacy president over Iran’s nuclear program and ties with Washington.
US-Iranian military, intelligence cooperation in war on ISIS reaps first successes in Syria and Iraq
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 5, 2014
At least 18 foreign ISIS fighters, including Americans and Europeans, were killed in a Syrian air raid Thursday, Sept. 4, over their Raqqa HQ. A second Syrian air raid killed or injured another group of high ISIS officers at Abu Kamal near the Iraqi border. A day earlier, US jets struck an IS base in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar, killing its commander, Abu Hajar Al-Sufi, and two top lieutenants of ISIS chief Abu Baker Al-Baghdadi. All these actions owed their success to deepening US-Iranian military and intelligence cooperation. Is this Obama's unadmitted strategy?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 29, 2014
While Obama works with Iran to fight Islamists, he faces a rival bloc doing the same in Egypt, Saudi Arabia in Israel. But will he be willing to take Hizballah and Iran as partners and part of the deal?
Epic US-Iran military cooperation in Iraq coincides with Israel’s war on Tehran’s Palestinian ally, Hamas
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 17, 2014
On June 16, the US and Iran took their first steps for military cooperation in Iraq, at the same time as Israel declared war on Tehran’s Palestinian ally, Hamas, in the wake of a fruitless four-day sweep of the West Bank Hebron region for three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, and the detention of hundreds of Hamas activists. Israel leaders said this was just the beginning of military pressure on Hamas. debkafile: The 275 troops Obama assigned to Iraq are also the beginning of a wider military intervention against ISIS in collaboration with Iran.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 11, 2014
Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threw a large spanner in nuclear diplomacy Sunday, May 11, when he told the Revolutionary Guards to start mass-producing missiles. He dismissed western expectations on limits to missile production as “stupid and idiotic.” Khamenei was responding to the US demand, raised mainly under pressure from Israel, to deal with Iran’s nuclear weapons projects and its missiles program in the coming round of talks on May 15. debkafile: The Iranian leader is also under threat of a putsch by the Guards if he approves any further nuclear concessions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 4, 2014
Hojat-Islam Ali Yunessi’s visit to the Shiraz synagogue Friday night, May 1, was noteworthy – even if it was part of President Hassan Rouhani’s smiles offensive. The cleric admitted that scientific research had confirmed the Biblical account of Persian Emperor Cyrus’s recognition of the Jews’ right to Judah and a temple in Jerusalem. Rouhani counted on this gesture for winning points with US Jews, ahead of the signing of a final nuclear accord, and back US National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s effort this week to sell the accord to Israel and prevent it attacking Iran.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 29, 2014
Saudi Arabia exhibited its nuclear-capable missiles for the first time Tuesday, April 29 in a military parade ending a large-scale war game. Displayed was the liquid propellant DF-3 ballistic missile (NATO designated CSS-2), purchased from China 27 years ago. This missile has a range of 2,650 km, carries a payload of 2,150 kg and a single nuclear warhead with a 1-3 MT yield. By showing off the DF-3, Riyadh was displaying its readiness for use in a potential war with Iran and its non-reliance any longer on a US nuclear shield.