The not-always-reliable Debkafile, an Internet publication devoted to reporting and analysis on terrorism, intelligence, Islam, military affairs, & security issues, published in English and in Hebrew, is reporting:
US Marines are locked in battle with Syrian troops after crossing the border from Iraq into Syria at a point west of al Qaim
November 25, 2005, 12:27 AM (GMT+02:00)
Both sides have suffered casualties. US soldiers crossed over after Damascus was given an ultimatum Thursday, Nov. 24, to hand over a group of senior commanders belonging to Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s al Qaeda force. According to US intelligence, the group had fled to Syria to escape an American attack in Mosul. Syrian border guards opened fire on the American force.
Pravda is meanwhile corroboratively reporting that:
The Iraqi government on Thursday called on Syria to detain “dangerous” insurgents who fled across the border to escape a joint U.S.-Iraqi military operation in the area this month. Government spokesman Laith Kubba also said that insurgent attacks are expected to rise before the Dec. 15 general elections. He said attacks by “Muslim extremists and Saddam (Hussein’s) criminals” will be their last stand.
Who is Debkafile? This WIRED article answers some of the questions.
No reports from other sources more than 24 hours later. Depkafile has added a an update.
DEBKAFile is the Drudge Report of Israel!
I think Drudge is more reliable than Depkafile, but we couldn’t overlook the possibility this report was true.
Debka is an interesting but unreliable site as you noted. I made the mistake a few years ago of sending an email to Glenn Reynolds with a link to Debka without pointing out that fact and he posted the story, that turned out to be false, and link and I always regretted that I wasn’t more careful to give a warning to Glenn about the nature of the site.
I was turned on to it by an Israeli friend who takes it as gospel but over time I found that there is a lot of wishful thinking and conspiracy theorizing that goes into the postings.
It makes for interesting reading though.
Debka is right more often than not, in my experience, and sometimes I realize they’re right about particular items well after they’re reported.
Granted, being that it’s basiclaly two reporters working their myriad sources all the time, they might not always put the pieces into the correct puzzle, but it’s always worth a look. Definitely at least as dependable as the American MSM.
Since no further confirmation has been forthcoming on this one, I’ve been feeling distinctly uncomfortable about having forwarded it to Glenn myself, especially since this item is NYM’s first Instapundit link.
Still, with the Pravda article as well, it’s hard to see as viable the choice of not reporting this story.
Debka places a premium on firstness, and may thus bollox a report every so often. But it’s very rare. It’s an excellent source, by and large–much more valuable than our Pravda, the NYTimes.
I don’t doubt that mainstream media reporters are not in position to report on battles near the Syrian border. However, when Pravda is the only confirmation of a story, that’s almost worse than no confirmation.
One wonders what the alien invasion fleet Pravda reported on last week would think of Debka’s reliability…
A lot of times, even Debka’s stories that don’t pan out get you to think about important angles of a situation. Life is about probabilities and outcomes, not certainties and “just so” reasons for things.
The first commenter asserted that Debka was like Israel’s Drudge Report; I think of Debka as Israel’s version of the Northeast Intelligence Network – often ahead of the curve, but occasionally off the mark.
Syria is not safe from american retaliation. This time Debka is wrong. American special forces are still mapping the borderlands for decisive action. When it comes, it will come with armor and air support.
Syria is most deffinetly a problem that needs to be addressed, however the clearance for a cross border incursion would need to come from the National Command Authority and i feel with all of the problems on the presidents plate right now this type of action would be highly unlikely. I remember the Cambodia incursion in 1970 and the similarities would be to great.
Actually I think American public opinion would support action against Syria which most percieve as part of the problem of the ‘insurgency’ which has caused so much loss of life both coalition and Iraqi.
This would the much needed notice to Syria. Next…airstrikes.
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