437 articles tagged "US"
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Deadly Damascus explosion
At least 27 dead in Damascus bombings. Russians man Syrian air defenses
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 17, 2012

Two car bomb attacks on Air Force Intelligence and Security Police Headquarters in Damascus killed at least 27 people and wounded 97 Saturday, March 17. A third bomb exploded on a bus carrying members of the pro-Iranian Palestinian Liberation Army in the Al Yarmouk suburb.
debkafile: As well as Syria and the Gaza Strip, Iran’s hand links a widening circle of Middle East violence. Russian technicians man the Pantsyr-1 air and missile defense batteries shielding Syria from foreign intervention.

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Last rebel stand at Idlib against Syrian army
Rehearsals in Syria, Gaza for Iranian-Israeli showdown
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly March 14, 2012

Iran and Russia both won ground on the Syrian battlefield at America’s expense with this week’s Assad victory over rebels in Idlib, say DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s strategic analysts in its next issue out Friday.  The indecisive way the Israeli confrontation with Iran’s Palestinian proxy Jihad Islami wound down also added points to Tehran - and Moscow less directly - after Washington backed away from the Gaza episode and Israel threw in the sponge. These players were testing the ground for a possible Israeli-Iranian clash.
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MPR-500 made by Israel's Military Industries
Israel develops its own bunker buster
DEBKAfile Special Report March 13, 2012

Israel has developed an improved precision, bunker-burrowing weapon which Israeli Military Industries (IMI) unveiled on March 6 at peak US-Israel friction over a strike against Iran. The 500-pound MPR-500 is an electro-optical bomb that can penetrate double-reinforced concrete walls or floors without breaking apart.  “The lethality, precision… and relatively low weight of the new weapon,” say its manufacturers, “enable its use against multiple targets in a single pass.”  The MPR-500 bridges a gap between the US 250-pound US GBU-39 and the 5,000-pound GBU-28 super-bunker buster.

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Gen. Mohammad Hejazi
Iran Addresses Different Warnings to the US and Israel
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2012

The US Pentagon and Israel’s high command are taking Tehran’s threat of preemptive action with the utmost seriousness as changing the rules of the standoff. It was issued to provide Iran with grounds for claiming international legitimacy for any preemptive military action launched against Israel or American targets as lawful self-defense.

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Hillary Clinton and Ahmet Davutoglu
For Handling Assad, Washington Favors Turkey over Arabs
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 17, 2012

Middle East capitals are puzzled by the Obama administration’s willingness to cast the Arab bloc and its Syrian concerns aside and collaborate with Turkey on the Assad issue. Why is non-Arab Turkey the blue-eyed boy in Washington and not the Gulf Arabs? The answer in some Middle East capitals is that President Obama trusts Ankara to open his diplomatic door to Tehran.

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Mikhail Fradkov
Vladimir Putin Deepens Russia’s Stake in Syria
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 17, 2012

Russia needs a presence in Syria to promote its interests in the Middle East, to keep the lid on Caucasian unrest and to pave the way to challenge the United States in the global arena.

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Defense Minister Ehud Barak with Army Chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz
US gets Barak to backtrack and deny Iran has reached nuclear point of no-return
DEBKAfile Special Report February 16, 2012

By suddenly stating, contrary to all informed estimates, that Iran’s nuclear arms program has not yet reached the point of no return, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak implied that Israel was in no hurry to strike its nuclear facilities, a message for which Washington has been angling for months. His words Thursday Feb. 16 contradicted the evaluations of the current and former Israeli Military Intelligence chiefs. debkafile attributes Barak’s re-evaluation to reports of US-Iranian agreement to resume nuclear talks soon.

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No qualms about tank fire against residential buildings
Assad wins out against opposition as Russia and Iran strengthen ties
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 11, 2012

Western intelligence sources reporting in real time concluded Saturday night, Feb. 11 that Bashar Assad's loyal forces had by and large managed to subdue the rebellion against the regime, even though flare-ups are still to come. They are now purging the last pockets of resistance, especially in Syria's third largest city, Homs. The Syrian ruler will go on record as crushing his own people with the help of non-Arab Iran and Russia. For the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia this is a contretemps.

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Vladimir Putin
Russia Is Prepared to Use Military Power to Defend Iran and Syria
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 10, 2012

Russia has a comprehensive long-term plan to overtake - or at least match - America as a world superpower and it therefore extends a helping hand to any Middle East and Arab power, principally Syria and Iran, willing to defy Washington. Moscow is also betting on Bashar Assad winning the Syrian conflict.

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Fayza Aboul Naga
No One in Cairo Wants To Save Egyptian-US Ties
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 10, 2012

The masters of Egyptian intelligence, who are still in power, disguised their anti-US sentiments as long as Hosni Mubarak was president. Today, they prefer to deal with the Islamists who expect to win power in Cairo and are ready to ditch Egypt's ties with America.

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US Air Force airlift over Sinai to the Gulf
As US and Israel dicker over Iran strike, American airlifts strength to the Gulf
DEBKAfile Special Report February 9, 2012

As the US and Israel continued to bicker over an attack on Iran, their war preparations continued apace. debkafile's military sources report that flight after flight of US warplanes and transports were seen cutting eastward over Sinai on their way to Gulf destinations, presumably Saudi Arabia, at a frequency not seen in the Middle East for many years. Sunday, Feb. 5, Alireza Forghani, strategic adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said, "It would only take nine minutes to wipe out Israel."

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Syrian shelling leaves hundreds dead in Homs
Russia vetoes motion after preparing Special Forces for Syria
DEBKAfile Special Report February 4, 2012

The West and Russia had a major showdown Saturday Feb. 5 over the Arab League resolution calling on Bashar Assad to step down. US President Barack Obama said the UN must take a stand against his "relentless brutality" and hold a vote before the end of the day. The vote was defeated by Russian and China vetoes. debkafile: Moscow backed its hard line against the West by putting Rapid Reaction Force (aka Spetsnaz) units on the ready to set out for Syria.

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A Western-Arab Undercover Exercise Afoot to Oust Bashar Assad
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 3, 2012

To pierce the layers of armor devised by Syrian, Russian and Iranian strategists to keep Assad afloat, the Western-Arab bloc is recruiting top Syrian generals to march on Damascus and unseat the dictator.

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Iran Didn't Bring Down the RQ-170. A Chinese Cyber Whiz Team Did
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 3, 2012

US stealth drones stay out of Iranian skies since the RQ-170 was downed now that American intelligence knows that a Chinese cyber team was responsible. The Obama administration is avoiding a reckoning with Beijing because Washington needs the Chinese on America's side – especially in a presidential election year.

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Syrian officers visit Russian aircraft carrier in Tartus port
Assad may start regional war if UN tells him to step down – Gulf sources
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 31, 2012

Syrian President Bashar Assad is reported by Persian Gulf sources Tuesday, Jan. 31 to have confided to his advisers that he will start up a regional conflict if the UN Security Council calls on him to step down. The heads of the Syrian armed forces and intelligence have been given their orders. Other sources tell debkafile that the Russian flotilla in Tartus appears to be on alert and Sunday, a US nuclear submarine and destroyer sailed through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea.

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Washington and Iran Are Talking Along Three Secret Tracks
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 26, 2012

The Obama administration saw in the unimpeded passage of the Abraham Lincoln carrier through the Strait of Hormuz a signal that Tehran may be amenable to nuclear talks. Preparatory feelers are going forward on three tracks via Baghdad, Ankara and Vienna between the emissaries of the US President and Iran's Supreme leader.

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King Abdullah and Wen Jiabao
China to Help Saudi Arabia Gain a Nuclear Weapon
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 20, 2012

China took advantage of the US oil embargo on Iran to bid for Saudi oil instead. Riyadh agreed to provide oil in return for Chinese assistance in building a Saudi nuclear weapon program. Beijing no longer calls Iran its only strategic partner in the Middle East; Riyadh shares that privileged status with Tehran.
Until this week, the ayatollahs were sure Iran would play solo as the Persian Gulf region's only Muslim nuclear power. Now Sunni Saudi Arabia is about to share the stage.  
Meanwhile neither the US nor the European embargo decisions are ready for implementation. Meanwhile neither the US nor the European embargo decisions are ready for implementation.
  . .  .   Meanwhile neither the US nor the European embargo decisions are ready for implementation.

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Tehran Weighs Closing Strait of Hormuz, a Terror Campaign - Or Both
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 20, 2012

A detailed report to Washington by Saudi and Kuwaiti intelligence details Iran's preparations for sabotaging oil production in the Gulf emirates, striking US targets and blocking the Strait of Hormuz.

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Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Al Qods commander
Iran's Al Qods cells for Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait to hit oil and US targets
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 18, 2012

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Turkey have alerted Washington to intelligence reports that Iranian Al Qods Brigades operatives are heading their way to blow up oil installations and American targets. They ask how the US intends to respond. For the second time in a week, a US spokesman Washington disclosed Jan 17 that Al Qods commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani secretly visited Damascus. debkafile reports: Part of his mission was to synchronize these Al Qods attacks with backing for Assad's crackdown on protest.

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Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Joint US-Israel drill called off by Netanyahu, to Washington's surprise
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 17, 2012

debkafile's sources disclose exclusively that, contrary to reports in Washington, Jerusalem - and this site too - it was Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, not the Obama administration, who called off the joint US-Israeli military exercise Austere Challenge 12, a step unprecedented in Israel-US relations. Netanyahu acted when he judged the Obama administration's resolve to preempt a nuclear Iran to be flagging. His action also aimed at freeing Israel's hands for a unilateral strike on Iran's nuclear sites - if necessary.

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