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Posted: 1/11/2005 6:10:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 6:11:14 AM EDT by DOW]
www.debka.com/article.php?aid=964


I know, it's Debka, but still interesting....


Last Sunday, January 2, US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage performed his last major mission before stepping down in favor of Robert B. Zoellick, whom incoming secretary Condoleezza Rice has picked as her deputy. (Zoellick, currently trade representative in charge US world trade, served as deputy to secretary of state James Baker in the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations.

This mission took Armitage to Damascus with nine American demands.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s Washington sources published those demands for the first time in its last week’s issue:

1. Start repealing Syria’s 40-years old emergency laws.

2. Free all political prisoners from jail.

3. Abolish media censorship.

4. Initiate democratic reform.

5. Speed up economic development

6. Cut down relations with Iran.

7. Announce publicly that the disputed Shebaa Farms at the base of Mt. Hermon are former Syrian territory. This would cut the ground from under the Lebanese terrorist Hizballah’s claim that the land is Lebanese and must be “liberated” from Israeli “occupation.”

DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources report that the Iran-sponsored Hizballah’s attack on an Israeli convoy patrolling the disputed Shebaa Farms sector, killing an Israeli officer, on Palestinian election-day, Sunday, January 9, was addressed as much to President George W. Bush as to the new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as a foretaste of what it has in store.

8. Hand over to US or Iraqi authorities 55 top officials and military officers of the former Saddam regime, who are confirmed by intelligence to be established in Syria and running the guerrilla war in Iraq out of their homes and offices.

(An address, telephone number and cell phone number were listed beside each name).

But the punchline was in the last demand.

9. Syria had better make sure that none of the Kornet AT-14 anti-tank missiles which it recently purchased in large quantities from East Europe turn up in Iraq. US intelligence has recorded their serial numbers to identify their source. DEBKAfile’s military sources add: Because he cannot afford to buy advanced fighter planes and tanks, Assad purchased massive quantities of the “third generation” Kornet AT-14 anti-tank weapons.

Just in case any are found in Iraq, General Casey, commander of US forces in Iraq has already received orders from the commander-in-chief in the White House to pursue military action inside Syria according to his best military judgment.

Number 9 therefore incorporates a tangible threat. The American general has the authority to launch military action against Syria as he sees fit and without delay if Damascus continues to meddle in Iraq’s affairs.

DEBKAfile adds:

The Syrian ruler protested to Armitage that he is doing everything he can to hold back the flow of guerrilla fighters and weapons into Iraq. As proof, he ordered Syria’s chief of staff General Ali Habib to establish a forward command center on the Syrian-Iraq border to oversee efforts to control border traffic on the spot.

The fact is that General Habib is one of the few Syrian officers which the Americans have trusted. He commanded the Syrian units dispatched to Saudi Arabia in the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq and made friends with the US commanders and officials conducting the war, including vice president Dick Cheney and the then head of joint chiefs of staff, Colin Powell. However, even Habib’s old American buddies do not rule out the possibility that he was posted to the border not to restrain the traffic but to take command of Syrian units posted there and prepare them for the contingency of an American military offensive.

Assad and General Habib are both aware, according to our sources, of the near carte blanche handed down to General Casey to pursue military action against Syria as and when indicated by US military requirements in Iraq.

In this regard, DEBKAfile’s military sources note four important points:

1. It will not take place before President Bush is sworn in for his second term on January 20 or Iraq’s general election three days later.

2. The Americans will not start out with a large-scale, orderly military offensive, but rather short in-and-out forays; small US and Iraqi special forces units will cross the border and raid bases housing Iraqi guerrillas or buses carrying them to the border. If these brief raids are ineffective, the Americans will upscale the action.

3. The Allawi government will formally request the United States to consign joint Iraqi-US forces for action against Syrian targets, so placing the US operation under the Baghdad government’s aegis. In other words, Iraq will be at war with Syria without issuing a formal declaration.

4. It is fully appreciated in Washington, Baghdad and Jerusalem that intense American military warfare against Syria could provoke a Hizballah backlash against Israel. Damascus may well activate the Lebanese Shiite group to open a second front on Israel’s northern border. The Syrian ruler is expected will tolerate a certain level of American low-intensity, low-profile action. But, because of his reluctance to strike back directly at American or Iraqi targets, he will field the Hizballah – and not just for cross-border attacks but to galvanize the terrorist cells it controls and funds in the West Bank and Gaza Strip into a stepped-up offensive against Israeli targets. These Palestinian cells have proliferated over the years, particularly in the Fatah and its branches, encouraged by Yasser Arafat’s cooperative pact with the Hizballah which remains in force after his death.

Therefore, the key Middle East happening in the coming weeks will be US military strikes against Syria. The election of Mahmoud Abbas as Palestinian Authority chairman, his invitation to the White House, the formation of the Sharon-Peres government coalition - albeit on very shaky legs, and the talk of imminent Israel-Palestinian peace negotiations, will prove to be no more than sideshows of the main event.

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:14:38 AM EDT
How much credibility do you give this report?  It doesn't sound like it would be outside the realm of possibility.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:17:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 6:19:43 AM EDT by DOW]
I put Debka somewhere between World News Weekly and Drudge. They do come up with some scoop occaisionally. I do think it's very plausible, and I did predict such an occurrence in the "Predictions for 2005" threadwww.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=308984
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:19:07 AM EDT
About damn time.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:19:10 AM EDT
Debka=bullshit.  I can't remember ANYTHING they've gotten right since 9-11.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:24:48 AM EDT

Yes! And we're coming in from the East. 101st AB and 3ID leading the way. Three main groups will enter first, one 50 miles south of the Euphrates, and two near the Iraq/Jordan border. Bombing will begin January 20th... at about 3:05pm EST.

Shhh... don't tell anyone.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:26:43 AM EDT
We're not in Iraq for Syria or Iran... we're there so we can seize the Eastern Saudi oil fields if their government ever falls to radical Whabbists. What the hell does Syria have that we want? Besides, they are one of the more stable ME countries. Hell, Iran is more of a threat than Syria. I don't think the report makes too much sense.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:39:40 AM EDT
Syria will get stomped if it does not stop actively supporting, supplying and giving safe haven and refuge to the Baathist Insurgents in Iraq… they have been warned a few times with little result…… I'll bet patience is wearing thin.

ANdy
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:50:25 AM EDT
What the hell does Syria have that we want?

Access to the Med. So we don't run into the same situation we had when Turkey denied passage. Tjis will give us quicker support routes when we need the to take on Iran.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:03:10 AM EDT
I'd sure like it to be true. But I wonder whether we have enough forces to keep the peace in Iraq and fight and occupy Syria at the same time.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:16:36 AM EDT
Debka is typically shit.

However, this time (just about the first time ever!) they have some points.   They are correct about the need to straighten out Syria.  Syria has stepped on too many toes too often, both before and during the Iraqi war:

Have often worked closely with Iran on some matters which have resulted in the destabilization of the region.

Armed and supported insurgents in Iraq.

Fired on US forces when they approach the border.

Sheltered refugees from Saddam's regime.

Seized millions of dollars of assets that were stolen from the Iraqi people.

Currently possess some of Saddam's WMD.

Actively supported Saddam before the invasion politically.

Guess whose name is on the end-user certificates for most of the weapons Saddam received after the UN embargo was put into place?

Served as a willing conduit for Saddam's smuggling operations during the embargo.

Supported terrorist groups against Israel and the US for decades.

Started numerous wars of aggression against Israel.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:48:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 7:53:30 AM EDT by BlammO]
I wouldn't go so far as to say the Debka is shit.  You have to watch and get a feel for the reporting style, though.  It's not uncommon for them to do some editorializing and speculation on future events that don't materialize, but it's pretty obvious when they are speculating.  On the other hand, when something big is in the works, they tend to break the news days or sometimes weeks in advance and usually with pretty good accuracy.  Their reporting leading up to and including the invasion of Iraq was pretty darned good, IMO.

They are worth reading if only for the regional insight, even if you don't put a lot of credibility in the reporting.

ETA:  To Syria, I say "Get some!"  
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:58:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:59:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ilikelegs:
One can only hope.



Amen.

If we've got ther forces, let's go. If we don't, then let's GET THEM and go!
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:16:41 AM EDT
I hope its true.

Something has to be done to stop the flow of men and material supporting the insurgency.Or its never going to get better over there.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:20:16 AM EDT
we are already stretched very thin
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:41:16 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:51:26 AM EDT
Technically, the 10 or 12 man Iraqi army will declar war on Syria and we will back them up.

I have heard this has been discussed in war rooms.


A new seaside port.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:51:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 1911greg:
we are already stretched very thin



+1. What would we do it with? The "Peace dividend"?

I call on DEBKA. Again. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:26:16 AM EDT
I hope so, but I doubt it.  At least this soon, and not this way.  It is NOT "what do they have that we want", that's the lib's view of why the evil empire goes tpo war.  The reason we need to, and might, stomp them is that they are waging war against us.  Undeclared, plausibly deniably, but they are on the other side in a hot conflict.  
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 11:19:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GLOCKshooter:
I hope so, but I doubt it.  At least this soon, and not this way.  It is NOT "what do they have that we want", that's the lib's view of why the evil empire goes tpo war.  The reason we need to, and might, stomp them is that they are waging war against us.  Undeclared, plausibly deniably, but they are on the other side in a hot conflict.  



Nedds to happen.  Will see what Syria is all abut if we launch a few tomahawks up their ass.  My question is this if we have confirmed Iraqi opposition leadership is operating out of Syria why have we not struck?????  What is Syria going to do cry to the U.N.???  Haven't the Israelis done hits/assasinations in Syria several times?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 12:45:37 PM EDT
I doubt that it will happen.

Not without lots of PUBLIC rhetoric beforehand.  Bush would need to attack them for supporting the insurgency in the public arena before we did this.

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 1:05:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 1:24:21 PM EDT by ABNAK]
With the thinly stretched U.S. military engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, the only ways this would happen is if:

#1---we had a draft (unlikely)


        OR


#2---we change the ROE in Iraq to a near-martial law level to keep things under control while we send troops westward into Syria (not as unlikely as #1) You know, the kind of ROE we had when the actual invason of Iraq was taking place: if it moves and you're suspicious, shoot it! No need for the pricks to actually point something at you like it is now.


Thinking about this for a moment it occurred to me that a sizeable military action against Syria would actually draw these bastards in Iraq out of hiding as they would be needing to put pressure on our forces to stave off the destruction of their sanctuary/resupply. IIRC when we invaded Cambodia the NVA and VC in South Vietnam stepped things up a bit to provide relief for their beleaguered comrades across the border.

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 1:12:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AdrianUSP9:
What the hell does Syria have that we want?



Saddam's "lost" WMD
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 1:27:23 PM EDT
Airforce isn't doing much.  Navy can deal with N.Korea.  Coast Guard stays here, hopefully.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 2:08:11 PM EDT
Don't believe the hype about our forces being over extended................that's what they want them to think, besides since when would should we take a Democraps word on anything related to military affairs anyway....................Yea, I know, theres dems in the military too, but you really never hear them whine without no ax to grind or partisan reason
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 2:19:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By munkalido:
Airforce isn't doing much.  Navy can deal with N.Korea.  Coast Guard stays here, hopefully.



Sunshine in a can? Easy. Probably cost a lot less than moving an army over...

Ben
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 3:21:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 4:10:17 PM EDT by XGunBunny]
I hope we do attack Syria next.  Look at the the region as a whole.  We currently have Iran boxed in big time.  They can't go east (Afghanistan)OURS, west (Iraq, Turkey & Persian Gulf)OURS or south(Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea)OURS.  To the north are the Caspian Sea, Azerbijan and Turkmenistan, who if memory serves are our friends and not the Iranians.  So in effect they are screwed.  If we get Syria, then we have a safe sea port in the region.  Using the Persian Gulf puts our ships in harms way if we do attack Iran.  Using the sea port in Syria would allow us to ferry in troops and supplies without the Iranians being able to do anything to stop us.

I vote for taking Syria out.  Open up the sea port, then head into Iran from 3 directions.  Make a clean sweep of all the hardline arab countries.  We would probably get slammed on the world stage, but "F" them.  

But thats just what I think we should do, being a neocon and all!!!
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:04:25 PM EDT
Debka = Israeli Intelligence Propaganda Machine
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:19:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 5:20:13 PM EDT by LWilde]
It isn't a question of IF we will attack.  It is only a question of WHEN.

You heard it here first on ARFCOM my friends.  If the Syrians don't change their ways...and being Syrian Muslims, they are incapable of that...they are sure to ignore any warnings we have given them, we will most certainly remove the threat from their country.

Iran will be next.

This is going to be a long war ladies and gentlemen.  Get used to it and pray for our troops.
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