Mon, 18 Nov 2013 - 12:01 AM
Sat, 16 Nov 2013 - 1:01 AM
Sun, 14 Apr 2013 - 6:00 PM
Fri, 05 Apr 2013 - 7:00 PM
The request to Binyamin Netanyahu from Ali Khamenei was routed through Barack Obama. Its outcome was a flood of harsh US sanctions and Washington’s nod for a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran.
Barack Obama’s new appointees, Susan Rice, National Security adviser, and Samantha Power, ambassador to the UN, favored US intervention in Libya but not Syria. They prefer to help the president achieve his pivot to Asia, but neither al Qaeda nor Iran will give them the chance.
Russia and the West are suspected of stirring up Turkish dissent – the first to frustrate Turkish intervention in Syria, the second to ignite the Iranian street. The protesters will fight tooth and nail to upset his bid for the presidency with extended almost dictatorial powers.
Bashar Assad could hardly lose the war with the hefty backing of Russia, Iran, Iraq and Hizballah. Hizballah tilted the fighting against the rebels, while Iraq is feeding his war chest with billions of petrodollars.
Hamas has lost its financial sponsors. That is one reason to turn back to Tehran. Another is Assad’s offer to its war allies the chance of attacking Israel from Syrian soil. So why not switch back from the rebel side to Assad?
A Digest of debkafile Round-the-Clock Exclusives in Week Ending June 6, 2013
The Austrian government decided Thursday to withdraw its 380 troops from the UN peacekeeping force policing the Golan separation zone between Syria and Israel. During the day, shells from the battle between Syrian troops and rebels around Quneitra exploded in the UN camp.
Reinforcements were sent to Israel’s Golan border with Syria Thursday as fighting around Quneitra raged between Syrian troops and rebels. Two Syrian missiles landed and exploded on Israeli Golan Thursday during the fighting. The IDF declared the area around the Quneitra crossing a closed military area and prevented farmers and other locals from reaching their fields. At the same time, Israel admitted injured Syrian rebels at the Quneitra crossing and transferred them to hospital. Shells from the battle around the Golantown exploded in the UN camp inside the Syrian-Israeli separation zone on the Golan.
Assad’s al Qusayr victory Wednesday, June 6, presented the US, Israel and the Western alliance with a major strategic debacle. They paid the price of leaving the Syrian-Hizballah military machine orchestrated by Iranian officers a clear field. In contrast, a broad alliance of Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hizballah helped Bashar Assad turn the tide of war and seize the initiative. This machine is already geared up to capitalize on its success and trample Aleppo and southern Syria. Israel is next in its sights.
A Pentagon official told CNN Thursday that US intelligence agencies have identified three Russian amphibious warships in the eastern Mediterranean which may be carrying weapons shipments to re-supply the Syrian army. Although this is not confirmed, the containers aboard the ships are suspected of carrying components of the Russian S-300 air defense missiles for the Assad regime
Western sources report that Syrian aerial bombardments are decimating the rebels in flight from al-Qusayr after its capture by Syrian army and Hizballah units was completed Wednesday. Many are being killed. Syrian troops have so far denied medical teams access to the 1,200 wounded trapped in the town by days of fighting. The Syrian high command said that after smashing the rebels in al Qusayr, its iron fist will crush every other rebel position in the country. DEBKAfile: The loss of Qusayr has cut off rebel forces still holding onto locations in central and northern Syria from their Lebanese sources of supply.
The shells landed on open ground near an IDF army post in the central Golan. No one was hurt and there was no damage. The explosions were heard across the enclave.
Samantha Power, a National Security Council official, is expected to be named by President Barack Obama US ambassador to the United Nations. She will replace Susan Rice, who takes over from Tom Donilon as White House National Security Adviser. DEBKAfile: Power is reputed to be one of Israel’s strongest opponents in the US administration.
President Barack Obama plans Wednesday to announce the resignation of Tom Donilon as national security adviser, one of his closest aides, with ambassador to the UN Susan Rice. No reasons were offered for the surprise shakeup in the president’s inner foreign policy circle. Republican pressure forced Rice, 48, to withdraw from the running as foreign secretary over her statements on the Benghazi attack in which al Qaeda murdered four US diplomats. John Kerry took her place. Her appointment, which does not require Senate approval, will strongly antagonize the Republican side of the house.
On the fifth night of Turkey’s anti-government demonstrations, Istanbul police used tear gas and water cannon against a fresh wave of protest that erupted after Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc apologized Tuesday for police violence. Arinc is to meet activists later Wednesday. The 250,000 public sector workers of the Kesk trade union confederation Tuesday began a two-day strike in support of the protests and another trade union confederation plans to join. The Turkish Human Rights Association said more than 2,800 protesters had been injured in demonstrations across the country and 791 detained, of whom “around 500” had been released. Two people have been killed in the unrest.
A large American military force disembarked Tuesday, June 4, at the southern Jordanian port of Aqaba - ready for deployment on the kingdom’s Syrian border, debkafile reports.The 1,000-strong 26th Marine Expeditionary Force unit is the largest the US has deployed in Jordan.
The earthquakes which struck Iran in April and May left cracks several meters long in one concrete section of the Bushehr nuclear reactor, according to foreign diplomats monitoring Iran’s nuclear program. The damage was not visible around the highly reactive reactor core, they said.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Tuesday that lab tests on samples taken from unspecified locations in Syria had shown the presence of sarin in various locations. The results were referred to the UN. Fabius said those who used the deadly nerve agent should be punished. In his first statement he did not specify where, when or by whom the agent was deployed, but in a later broadcast interview he named Bashar Assad.
White House Spokesman Jay Carney commented in answer to a reporter’s question: France too says more work needs to be done to establish who used the poison gas and the circumstances around it. “We need to build on the information we have to expand the evidence and have it corroborated before we make any decisions.” We will continue with that effort, working closely with France, allies and the Syrian opposition. Carney said: “We condemn conduct of Assad’s army and Hizballah in Qusayr.”
Earlier, the UN said there were "reasonable grounds" to believe chemical weapons had been used at least four times in the course of the Syrian war.
In a new report, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon detailed evidence of "sickening and staggering" Syrian war atrocities - massacres, sieges and violations of children's rights. Children have been taken hostage, forced to watch torture and even participate in beheadings, says the report.
When Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon informed a Knesset panel Monday, June 3 that Syrian rebels still occupied four Damascus districts, debkafile’s intelligence sources reported the battle for the Syrian capital was all but over. Senior IDF officers: Flawed intelligence may lead to faulty decision-making.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, the target of the turbulent unrest sweeping Turkey, is also President Barack Obama’s foremost ally in the Muslim world. The coming DEBKA-Weekly out next Friday will examine this and other repercussions of the Turkish ferment, like the posting of Revolutionary Guards on the streets of Iran, and impact on the Syrian war. Has an outside hand been feeding the flames of domestic disaffection? And why is Israel concerned? Don’t miss further revelations about a possible shifting of ground between Iran and Israel, Bashar Assad’s new bankroller, and Hizballah’s creeping takeover of Syria.
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