No army in Mid East is challenging ISIS. Iran regroups to defend S. Iraqi Shiites, Assad to save Damascus
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis May 25, 2015
Not a single competent army capable of launching all-out war on ISIS in Syria or Iraq is to be found between the Jordan and the Euphrates and Tigris to the east, or Ramadi and Riyadh to the south. Assad and Hizballah are regrouping to defend Syrian cities; Tehran to save the Shiite towns and oil of S. Iraq. Sunday, May 24, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the Iraqi army had shown no will to fight. UK ex-army chief Lord Dannatt called for 5,000 British ground troops to fight the Islamists in Syria and Iraq.
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.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 30, 2010
The Iranian president tells Syria's Bashar Assad that the cyber attack on his country is the second in three years after Israel struck the Syrian plutonium reactor. That is more than Tehran is willing to suffer.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 23, 2010
Iranian and Syrian presidents will back Hizballah to the hilt in a coup against the Beirut government - especially if it triggers war with Israel. The joint Syrian-Hizballah-Iranian military command will be activated for the first time.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 28, 2010
The trigger for rising Middle East war tensions was the accumulation of 800 Scud D missiles placed by Bashar Assad on the Syrian-Lebanese border. The US, Israel, Syria, Hizballah, Lebanon, Hamas and Iran were all on war alert by week's end.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly May 25, 2010
The Lebanese army Wednesday boosted its units on the Israeli border "to monitor"
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 17, 2007
The foreign ministry in Moscow announced Monday, Dec. 17, the delivery of the first fuel shipment to power the Iranian nuclear reactor Russia is building at Bushehr. The announcement coincided with an international conference in Paris for 60 countries to consider the Palestinians' application for $5.6 bn in aid. debkafile's Moscow sources report this was a deliberate ploy to steal the thunder of an event built up as the sequel of the US-promoted Middle East conference in Annapolis last month.
Our Moscow sources report President Vladimir Putin has adopted the strategy of matching - or topping - every US or Western move concerning the Middle East. He also plans, they reveal, to land in Syria in grand style on New Year's Eve, a week before US president George W. Bush begins his Middle East tour.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 21, 2007
Since the beginning of the week, Israel's top military commanders have been poring over the situation of the Israeli Defense Forces in a workshop called by Ehud Barak who took over as defense minister two months ago. Some of their most alarming findings were presented by Barak at his first news conference in Tel Aviv Monday, Aug. 21 in advance of the ministry's presentation of its budget requirements.
They have left Israel's armed forces deprived of the three security capabilities which Barak deems essential to Israel's survival in a hostile environment: deterrence, early warning and victory.
To restore these capabilities, Barak outlined a program, the highlights of which are to reconstitute two disbanded reservist divisions, improve tank armor to withstand armor-piercing missiles and effective, active interception measures to protect the population against enemy rocket fire.
debkafile's analysts note that, for the present, the IDF offers early warning - but not deterrence.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 8, 2007
Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and foreign minister Tzipi Livni staged a revealing scrap of asides behind open microphones and TV cameras Monday, May 8.
She said the army chiefs was complaining the politicians were holding them back from dealing with the Palestinian Qassam missiles flying daily from Gaza. He replied: Tell them to take it easy.
Less than a week after Livni told Olmert to resign over the Winograd panel's deadly criticism of his handling of last year's Lebanon War, the duo were ready to act out a piece of theater and a course of military passivity. Neither seriously wants to hear what the army has to say - and not just the chief of staff, as in last year's conflict, but the different views of commanders, as the panel advised. They are too preoccupied with personal survival maneuvers to attend to urgent security issues.
Military experts, some of them recently retired from combat duty, tirelessly warn in daily media interviews that the war build-up on three Israeli borders, Lebanon, Syria and Gaza, has reached dangerous proportions.
Confirming the generals' worst fears, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah laid out a plan Sunday, May 6, for attacking IDF positions on Mts. Hermon and Dov from the Shebaa Farms, and Israel Navy vessels with the new long-range missiles just delivered (smuggled) by Syria, while also turning the militia's guns on the UN peacekeepers posted in south Lebanon.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 2, 2006
The nub of the new Bush administration's Middle East venture, on which US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice embarks Tuesday, Oct. 3, is an effort to lure Syrian president Bashar Asad over to the moderate pro-US Arab camp. This is pivotal to the main item on the agenda of her conference with six Arab foreign ministers in Cairo Tuesday, which is: How do we hold back the Shiite offensive to rule the Muslim world?
This weighty item breaks down into six components:
1. It requires a US-Arab consensus for halting Iran's nuclear program before the attainment of a weapons capability, and at the same time curbing the spread of Iranian influence in Iraq. US strategists have concluded that the moderate Arab leaders are at least as worried about this as America and have reached a point where they are ready to tackle the problem - certainly more than European leaders, who are beginning to fight shy of economic sanctions against Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 3, 2004
George W. Bush just couldn't seem to get a break overseas. Never have so many foreign voices been raised so systematically against an American president, from the insurgents in Iraq, down to the left-wing British newspaper, The Guardian, which mounted its own guerrilla campaign to persuade voters in the key state of Ohio to support his Democratic opponent, Senator John Kerry. But 58 million Americans nonetheless cast their ballots for Bush and widened the Republican majority in the Senate and House of Representatives. Bush, described by prime minister Ariel Sharon as the best friend Israel ever had in the White House, had his share of Israeli opponents too. Israeli newspapers and pundits reveled in running opinion polls that always seemed to tout Kerry as victor. Israel's left-wing peaceniks, thrown into opposition for being blindsided by the Palestinian war that began more than four years ago, embraced Kerry with almost the same starry-eyed affection they once showered on Yasser Arafat.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 30, 2002
The powerful blast that reverberated across eastern and central Lebanon Sunday, December 29, was caused by the explosion of a big surface missile in Hizballah hands and of Iraqi origin. Reporting this, debkafile's exclusive military and Lebanese sources reveal that the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group has recently taken delivery of a shipment of surface missiles, presumed to be medium-range, from the Iraqi army. The blast occurred at a Hizballah training camp near a village called Janta in the northeastern section of the Beqaa Valley close to the Syrian frontier. This camp is also used by the group as a testing ground for new weapons, short range missiles and explosive devices. The blast was heard at a distance of 20 km indicating a warhead of one ton at least.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 22, 2002
There are two main reasons for the Palestinian leader to have swung the Hamas Islamic terrorists round to a partial suspension of operations: A. To put pressure on Israel to reciprocate by lifting the closure of Ramallah so that he can wriggle out of the stranglehold imposed on him by US President George W. Bush and Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon. Once in Bethlehem, he will be free and can move around at will. B. To show Arab leaders that America can be challenged; they don't have to knuckle under to American dictates, least of all those laid down by Sharon.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 28, 2002
Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon informed the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee on Monday, October 28, that Iraq has airplanes capable of delivering biological and chemical weapons over Israel. The official "there's nothing to worry about" campaign run from Jerusalem until now is gradually making way for a more realistic assessment.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 13, 2002
Saddam Hussein wasted no time before calling his leadership and parliament into emergency sessions Saturday, October 12, in response respond to the congressional endorsement US president George W. Bush gained for waging war on Iraq. debkafile's Gulf sources report that the day after the US Senate in Washington approved a pro-war resolution, the Iraqi ruler went through the motions of seeking a parallel mandate from Iraq's governing institutions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 27, 2002
debkafile's political analysts view the American UN ambassador's landmark statement as strikingly significant in terms of the Bush administration's war on global terror and its relations with the Arab and Muslim world, as well as its perception of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the Jewish state's future in the Middle East. The "Al Aqsa Intifada" Yasser Arafat declared in September 2000 is denied acceptance as a war of liberation or the uprising of an oppressed people against a brutal occupier. The American speaker, by the conditions he posed for any Security Council resolution, clearly branded the armed Palestinian campaign a war of terror, which Israel has every right to combat and defeat with diplomatic and military assistance from the United States.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 5, 2002
Early Wednesday, June 5, a Palestinian terrorist drove a stolen vehicle from the West Bank into Israel, trailed the early Tel Aviv-Tiberias bus that was packed with commuters, mostly soldiers, drew up close and detonated the 100-kilo charge in his car behind the bus, as it passed Megiddo junction in northern Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 29, 2002
CIA Director George Tenet flies to Cairo or Jerusalem on Friday, May 31, to take charge of the final stage of the process. He will be joined in Jerusalem on Friday by Mubarak's political adviser Osama al Baz, who will inform the Israeli prime minister, defense minister and foreign minister that Egypt agrees to free Azzam Azzam, who has spent five years in an Egyptian prison on charges of spying for Israel. Israeli ministers will reciprocate by releasing the eight Egyptian seamen captured aboard the Palestinian arms smuggling vessel intercepted on the Red Sea last January. But beyond these two goodwill gestures, the deal entails granting Yasser Arafat the freedom to travel and return to Palestinian territory, an essential concession for making the Palestinian leader a figurehead of the reformed Palestinian Authority.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 13, 2002
Two events on Friday, April 12, reshaped US Secretary of State Colin Powell's conception of his peace mission to the Middle East: his tour of Israel's tense northern border region, which he termed "an eye opener"; and the suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem that blasted a bus line - just as his helicopter lifted off from the Knesset helipad only a quarter of a mile away, killing six Sabbath Eve market shoppers and injuring 89.