Middle East

High hopes of Arab summit OK for Israel peace step

 Arab summit

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

If the Arab summit opening in Amman Wednesday, March 9 meets the expectations of Washington and Jerusalem, the session will ratify a pivotal initiative for promoting an historic peace process between the Arab world and Israel. This effort, which matured through five months of mostly secret diplomacy, was launched by Donald Trump in November, shortly after he was elected US President.

ISIS U-Turns West to Lebanon as Next Target

 ISIS Lebanon as Next Target

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report 
American helicopters Thursday and Friday, March 23-24, dropped Kurdish and Arab fighters over a region west of the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa. Those forces quickly captured at least five villages and so cut jihadist concentrations in the northwestern Syria off from their Raqqa stronghold. DEBKAfile’s military sourcesreport this operation was the opening shot of the US-led campaign to isolate the Islamic State’s Syrian capital before storming it.

Assad in the ascendant?

Assad

 By NEVILLE TELLER 
Back in the glory days of the so-called “Arab Spring”, when Middle Eastern dictators were falling like ninepins, it seemed that the overthrow of Ben Ali of Tunisia, Mubarak of Egypt, Gaddafi of Libya and Saleh of Yemen would inevitably be followed by the downfall of President Bashar Assad of Syria.

Is Turkey rattled by Russian-Kurdish deal?

Turkey Russian-Kurdish deal


AUTHOR Fehim Taştekin TRANSLATOR Timur Göksel

Turkey’s plans to expand its Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria and isolate Kurdish forces in the region appear to be backfiring.

Israeli-Russian clash over Hizballah’s Golan grab

Israeli-Russian clash


DEBKAfile Exclusive Report 

The Israeli drone that targeted the Syrian militiaman Yasser Sayad outside the Golan town of Quneitra Sunday, March 19, reinforced the message first carried by the Israeli Arrow 2 which shot down a Syrian SA-5 anti-air missile Friday. The Israeli ambassador was called twice to the Russian foreign ministry.

Turkey still determined to play role in final Raqqa assault

 Final Raqqa assault


AUTHOR Fehim Taştekin TRANSLATOR Timur Göksel

It sounded dramatic: The leaders of 50 Syrian Arab tribes met in Sanliurfa, Turkey, and announced they would set up the Army of Al-Jazirah and Euphrates Tribes to end Russian and Iranian occupation of Syria and cleanse the Euphrates and Al Jazeera areas of the Islamic State (IS), the Kurdish nationalist Democratic Union Party/Kurdistan Workers Party (PYD/PKK), Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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