The Iranian-made Syrian drone downed by US F-15 fighters in southeastern Syria on June 8 was presented by American media as a “pro-regime” drone. It was in fact, as DEBKAfile’s military sources can disclose, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Shahed-129, which was fired as a part of a complicated ruse to dupe the US commanders while pro-Iranian forces surreptiously moved in on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
The Americans had drawn a line in the Syrian Desert sand 55 km outside the Al-Tanf border crossing embedded in the Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi border triangle, which is under the control of US, Western and Jordanian special forces, together with a US-trained Syrian rebel group. The Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the US military command in Syria and Iraq were confident that by securing this perimeter, their forces would keep the pro-Iranian advance at bay and the border safe. Continue reading
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman threatened to destroy Syrian air defense systems after the Syrian military launched ground-to-air missiles against Israeli warplanes illegally carrying out strikes against targets in the country.
“The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation,” The Time Of Israel quoted Lieberman’s statement on Israeli public radio. Continue reading
A top Iranian security official has revealed that Iran and Russia are sharing a military base in Syria where they are coordinating their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, was quoted by Iranian news agencies on Dec. 20 as saying there is “a shared base in Syria where Iran, with Russia’s help, does advisory work to help the Syrian army and the [pro-Assad] resistance forces.” Continue reading
Syria and its allies came closer than ever to taking Aleppo on Friday, Dec. 2, when they captured the Tariq al-Bab district to gain control of 60 percent of the rebel-held eastern part of the city.
Drawing on the lessons of this success, the winning forces have begun building a military outfit modeled on the format of the victorious coalition. It is designated the “Fifth Corps” of the Syrian army, but debkafile’s military and intelligence sources can identity the new unit as the framework for an international Shiite brigade or foreign legion. Continue reading
Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday the United States should carefully consider the consequences of strikes on Syrian army positions because such strikes would obviously threaten Russian servicemen. Continue reading
The Syrian army and Lebanon-based Iranian proxy terrorist organization Hezbollah are coordinating a large-scale “anti-terrorism” operation in southern Syria, near the border with Israel in the Golan Heights, the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars reported on Monday.
According to the report, the purpose of the operation is to “end militancy” in the area adjacent to the border. Continue reading
Make no mistake, Turkey is bombing Kurds and not ISIS. Turkey is ISIS-friendly and even lets them cross the border from Syria for treatment of war wounds in their hospitals.
Turkish tanks and special forces rolled across the border on Aug. 24 in an unprecedented operation to drive Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) out of the Syrian town of Jarabulus.
The operation – named “Euphrates Shield” – began with Turkish artillery pounding dozens of ISIL targets around Jarabulus, the Turkish prime minister’s office said. Continue reading
Washington: The Syrian military was foundering last year, with thousands of rebel fighters pushing into areas of the country long considered to be government strongholds. The rebel offensive was aided by powerful tank-destroying missiles supplied by the CIA and Saudi Arabia.
Intelligence assessments circulated in Washington that the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, was losing his grip on power.
But then the Russians arrived, bludgeoning CIA-backed rebel forces with an air campaign that has sent them into retreat. And now rebel commanders, clinging to besieged neighbourhoods in the divided city of Aleppo, say their shipments of CIA-provided anti-tank missiles are drying up. Continue reading
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters Monday that Russia would provide “the most active” support to the Syrian army to keep the strategic city of Aleppo and the surrounding area from falling into the hands of “terrorists.” Continue reading
Turkey is asking allies including the United States to take part in a joint ground operation in Syria, as a Moscow-backed government advances nears its borders, raising the possibility of direct confrontation between the NATO member and Russia.
A large-scale joint ground operation is still unlikely: Washington has ruled out a major offensive. But the request shows how swiftly a Russian-backed advance in recent weeks has transformed a conflict that has drawn in most regional and global powers. Continue reading
Earlier today we reported that Saudi Arabia has made a “final” decision to invade Syria.
The timing of the announcement quite clearly suggests that the Saudis are going to try and shore up the rebels who are facing imminent defeat at Aleppo where Hezbollah, backed by Russian airstrikes, is about to overrun the opposition. Continue reading
The Russian military intervention, which began in late August, has lifted the Syrian army out of what was thought to be a lost war. Russian air strikes, as well as the introduction of artillery, trained ground units, and T-90 tanks, have put Bashar al-Assad’s army on the offensive for the first time in the long conflict. Continue reading
Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria in the last 10 days and will soon join government forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies in a major ground offensive backed by Russian air strikes, two Lebanese sources told Reuters.
“The (Russian) air strikes will in the near future be accompanied by ground advances by the Syrian army and its allies,” said one of the sources familiar with political and military developments in the conflict. Continue reading
Russian President Vladimir Putin will take unilateral action against Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in Syria if the United States turns down his proposal to join forces against the terrorists, according to a report on Sept. 23.
According to a Bloomberg report, Putin has become frustrated with what he sees as U.S. stalling on the proposal for a “parallel track” of strikes against ISIL. Continue reading
Before dawn on Thursday, Sept. 24, Russian marines went into battle for the first time since their deployment to Syria, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reveal. Russian Marine Brigade 810 fought with Syrian army and Hizballah special forces in an attack on ISIS forces at the Kweiris airbase, east of Aleppo.
This operation runs contrary to the assurances of President Vladimir Putin to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sept. 21 – just three days ago – that Russian forces in Syria were only there to defend Russian interests and would not engaged in combat with the Syrian army, Hizballah or Iranian troops. Continue reading