Avi Melamed.

Tag: Assad

Navigating the Iraqi Labyrinth

March 2, 2014 Navigating the Iraqi Labyrinth by Avi Melamed The Al-Anbar Province is the western part of Iraq. It begins in Bagdad and its borders are Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Area-wise it is the largest province in Iraq with a total population of about 2 million people – mostly Sunni, whose society is based upon large tribes. Clashes have been taking place in Al-Anbar since December 2013. The combat is mostly taking place in the district’s two major cities – Al-Ramadi, 70 miles southwest of Bagdad and Al-Fallujah, 40 miles southwest of Bagdad. In addition, sporadic fighting is also taking place in the area of the Al-Khalidiya Peninsula located in central Iraq, as well as on the northern…

One Move on the Chess Board

November 26, 2013 By Avi Melamed The Iranian regime has very good reasons to be satisfied with the interim agreement signed recently in Geneva: The Iranian regime played their cards right. The Iranians came to the table under immense stress due to the growing economic crisis stemming from the Western imposed sanctions. The Western powers – for some reason – failed to take advantage of the Iranian regime’s stress which could have secured a much better deal for the West. The interim agreement positions the Iranian regime as a regional – if not global – power which cannot be ignored. The agreement substantially limits Israel’s ability to launch any kind of military strike – a scenario that disturbed the Iranian…

Secret of the Spinning Wheels

November 12, 2013 The Secret of the Spinning Wheels The Middle East is a complex structure of wheels which spin one another. Normally, a small wheel spins a bigger one.  In the Middle East however, sometimes it is the opposite. Sometimes a big wheel spins a smaller one. The following story demonstrates that well. The story begins in May 2012 when a group of eleven Lebanese Shiites described as “Pilgrims” were kidnapped in Syria on their way back to Lebanon from Iran. According to accumulating information evaluated as reliable, among the kidnapped were senior military and political activists of Hezbollah (read more about that incident in my article “Nasrallah Gets a Taste of his own Bitter Medicine” published on June…

Countdown to an Attack on Syria: Tomahawks and Smoke Signals

August 27, 2013 by Avi Melamed As a Western coalition (including Turkey) military strike, led by the USA, targeting the Assad regime in Syria seems inevitable, a delicate and complex process of “message exchanges” is taking place between the West and the Iran–Assad axis. As strange as it may sound, the purpose of this process is to come to a kind of unwritten, unspoken understanding – a “deal” if you wish – between the sides regarding the scale and magnitude of the West’s military strike in Syria that will reflect both sides’ interests – as well as restrictions – in the current situation. What are the interests and restrictions of the Iran-Assad axis? Two main factors guide the Iran-Assad axis: a)     The…

On The Edge of The Cliff

******* Intelligence Bulletin Information Date:     August 23, 2013 Event Date:     August 23, 2013 Information Item:     Lethal Attacks on Sunni Mosques in Northern Lebanon Information Platform:     Various Source:     Varied Source Reliability:     Confirmed Spring:     Varied Spring Reliability:     Reliable Relevant Information:     Two explosions occurred on Friday, August 23 in the city of Tripoli, the largest city in the northern part of Lebanon. The targets of the attacks were two major Sunni mosques. As of now, 45 people are reported dead and more that 500 injured. So far no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The city of Tripoli, with a population of some half a million people is predominately Sunni. There is, however, a group of Alawites who reside in one of…

The Alliance of Fear in Lebanon

June 6, 2013 by Avi Melamed As the war in Syria percolates into Lebanon and Iraq, turning into a massive Sunni-Shiite collision, it is worthwhile to take a close look at another factor in Lebanon – The Palestinians. Some half a million Palestinians (who are all Sunni) live in Lebanon. They live in large refugee camps scattered throughout most of Lebanon. The biggest one is Ain Al-Hilweh, located next to the city of Sidon, the biggest city in southern Lebanon, which is also predominately Sunni. Other large camps are located in the vicinity of Beirut as well as in the area surrounding Tripoli, the biggest city in northern Lebanon, which similar to Sidon, is also predominately Sunni. The scenario of…

The Syrian Stalingrad

******* Intelligence Bulletin Information Date:     May 22 2013 Event Date:     Now and Ongoing Information Item:     The Syrian Stalingrad Information Platform:     Various Source:     Varied Source Reliability:     Reliable Information Validity:     Valid Relevant Information:     In October 2012 I wrote an article entitled “Pay Attention to the Battle over Al-Qusayr in Syria” in this article I explained the strategic importance of the city of Al-Qusayr and the surrounding area. These very days, after months of fierce fighting over the city and its outskirts, Assad’s troops, together with Hezbollah, Iranian soldiers and Iraqi Shiite militants are launching a massive attack on Al-Qusayr. They are indiscriminately bombing the city with rockets and…

Iranian Soldiers Carry Passports to Heaven – Intelligence Bulletin

******* Intelligence Bulletin Information Date:              April 14, 2013 Event Date:                             Recent – Specific Date Unknown                      Information Item:              Iranian Soldiers in Syria carry “Passports to Heaven”       Information Platform:      Arab Media, Visual Source:                                   Ahrar Al Sham Group (Syria) Source Reliability:              Unknown Relevant Information:      Reportedly, a “Passport to Heaven” was found in the possession of an Iranian soldier in a recent raid conducted by the rebel group, Ahrar Al Sham Al Islamiya, on the base of the 17th Brigade of Assad‘s army in the city of Rakka. Accumulating reports indicate that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have been sent to Syria to support the Assad regime in the war in Syria. It should be mentioned that during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) the Iranian…

Did Assad’s Army Launch a Chemical Warhead on a Syrian town?

******* Immediate Intelligence Bulletin Information Date: March 19, 2013 Information Item: Did Assad’s Army launch a chemical warhead on Syrian town? Event Date: March 19, 2013 Information Details: A Free Syrian Army official argues that Assad’s army launched a long range missile armed with a chemical warhead on the Syrian city of Han Ala’sal, located in the outskirts of Aleppo in northern Syria. Information Platform: Arab Media Source: Free Syrian Army Source reliability: Unknown Information Validity: Unknown Relevant Information: Earlier today, Syrian national TV reported that Syrian rebels fired a chemical warhead on the town of Han Ala’sal killing 15 people and injuring dozens. That report was not confirmed. It should be noted that in the beginning of December 2012, a Free Syrian…

Intelligence Bulletin March 12, 2013 Clashes in Ain al-Hilweh, a Palestinian Refugee Camp in South Lebanon

******* Intelligence Bulletin March 12, 2013 Information Date: March 12, 2013 Event Date: March 11, 2013 Information Item: Clashes in Ain al-Hilweh, a Palestinian Refugee Camp in South Lebanon. Information Details: According to my sources clashes broke out during the night of March 11 and continued into the next day in a neighborhood called Ras al-Ahmar in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp. Reportedly, the clashes were a result of an attempted assassination of a senior leader of the Sunni Jihadist militant group known as Fatah al-Islam. The clashes resulted in a few injuries. Source: Media Platform, Neutral Sources, Others Source Reliability: Reliable Information Validity: Valid Relevant information: One person injured in the clashes – the apparent target of the assassination attempt – is identified as…

Did Assad’s Mother Die?

Intelligence Bulletin Did Assad’s Mother die? Information date: 2/18/2013 Information: Assad’s mother Amina Mahluf dies in Belhoul Specialty hospital in Dubai. Source: Neutral information platform Source reliability: Unknown Information validity: Unconfirmed Relevant information: According to different sources, Assad’s mother moved to the Gulf area few months ago. Her exact whereabouts are not clear. This information evaluated as reliable. Assad’s mother is member of the powerful Mahluf Alawite family. A teacher by profession, Amina Mahluf is often described as the “Iron lady” who rules her family with an iron fist. Reportedly, she had significant influence on almost all state matters in Syria. If the information regarding Amina Mahluf’s death is accurate, it could be meaningful for two major reasons; one, reportedly…

Wikistrat Next Generation Strategy Ask a Sr. Analyst Exercise

Ask A Senior Analyst – Mr. Avi Melamed   Mr. Avi Melamed Editor’s Note: Wikistrat’s Facebook followers recently engaged in a 24-hour exclusive Q&A drill with one of Wikistrat’s Senior Analysts – Mr. Avi Melamed. Mr. Avi Melamed, former Israeli Senior Official on Arab Affairs and is an independent Middle East Strategic Intelligence Analyst and lecturer specialized in the current affairs of the Arab and Muslim world, as well as their impact on Israel and the region more widely. Mr. Melamed provides intelligence analysis, briefings and tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policy makers, international media outlets and a wide variety of organizations as well as private clients on a range of Israeli and Middle Eastern affairs. Miguel Nunes Silva: …

Arab Journalist Challenges Arab Media

December 9, 2012 Below is a translation of an article by the Kuwaiti journalist, Abdullah Al Hadlaq.  I referred to it in my video: Arab Perspectives on Operation Pillar of Defense.    The article, quite an exceptional one, was published in the Al-Watan newspaper in Kuwait on November 19, 2012.  I bring this piece to you attention because it is my goal to expose you to the Arab voices that advocate for “the Israeli side.” I hope you find it interesting and valuable.  A Word of Truth: Double Standards and Not Calling Things by their Real Name by Abdullah Al Hadlaq When terror organizations in the Gaza Strip, including Hamas, launch rockets on Israeli cities attempting to kill innocent civilians including…

Operation Pillar of Defense – Geopolitical Ramifications Part 1

November 21, 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense: Geopolitical Ramifications – Part 1 Rocket Attacks on Israel: Sirens in Israeli Cities Must Echo in the West by: Avi Melamed It is essential to understand that the most current round of rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip onto Israeli cities is yet another chapter in the long War by Proxies imposed on Israel by the Iranian regime. On many occasions, I have described the militant axis nurtured and operated by the Iranian regime as “the axis of Resistance” (for an example read my article Masters of Chaos: The Iranian Mullah Regime, June 2010).  In this article I outlined the mechanisms this axis employs time and again to create violence and instability,…

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