The Lebanon explosion and the Israel-UAE deal in the eyes of the intelligence community

The Lebanon explosion and the Israel-UAE deal in the eyes of the intelligence community

Developments are taking place that strongly affect the balance of power and which are increasing tension in the Middle East, one after another.

Following the news that the US had accumulated troops in the north of Syria, it was revealed that the US company “Delta Crescent Energy LLC” signed an oil agreement with the PKK’s extension YPG in Syria. Syria, Turkey and Iran, the regional countries, showed a strong response to this agreement.

The explosion that took place in the Port of Beirut on August 4 brought forward concerns of a possible civil war in Lebanon, increased tensions between Hezbollah and Israel and stoked fears of intervention attempts by Western countries, especially France and the US. Before the pain of Lebanon could be relieved, pressure began to come from Israel with the Gulf countries, starting with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and continuing with Sudan.

How will regional balances be shaped in light of these developments? How will what happened impact Turkey’s regional policy? What is the goal of the US-Israel’s diplomatic attacks? Elif İlhamoğlu spoke with former Director of Turkish General Staff Intelligence Department, retired Lieutenant General İsmail Hakkı Pekin.


1. Various allegations regarding the explosion in Lebanon are being discussed. Was the explosion a result of sabotage or negligence? How isLebanese politics shaped after the explosion? How are regional balances affected?

Everyone wants to benefit from this explosion in their own way. Israel and the US in particular, both blame Iran and Hezbollah. They want Hezbollah to be found guilty and expelled from Lebanon for this explosion. Secondly, the US-Israel duo looks at the issue in terms of Israel’s security, trying to drive Iran out of Lebanon and Syria.

Who stands to benefit from the Beirut Explosion?

There was a huge chaos in Lebanon before the explosion. The banking and financial system was very bad. Syrians’ money was also in Lebanon, as banks in Lebanon had direct contact with the whole world. This situation got worse after the explosion and the chaos escalated. Even the Amal Movement is now compressing Hezbollah, saying it should get out. Then French President Macron came and said “order must change” in Lebanon. The main problem of the people is that there is a great corruption in the country, the incoming money goes into someone’s pocket. There is no unity in the country, which is divided by sects. After this explosion, it seems that the non-integrity will deteriorate further. It is the West that does this, this is the system France introduced after the war in Beirut. They are now saying that the order must change. France is trying to start being the big brother in the Middle East again, starting a new colonialism.

Speaking of the explosion, this may be negligence, but I do not think it was a coincidence. Mossad knows that explosive was there, and so does Hezbollah. While they were detonating one of Hezbollah’s missile depots, they may have detonated this, either knowingly or unknowingly. The explosion is a clear and unambiguous sabotage. What is neglected is this; It is not true act to hold so many explosives there for so many years. That explosive substance explodes with heat. Terrorists use ammonium nitrate. They put it in the gas cylinder by heating it and then put around 100 grams of C4 to detonate it, then an electric detonator is placed to detonate that mold. The heat created when that fuze explodes detonates C4. It creates much greater heat, and then it bursts ammonium nitrate. In other words, it is hard to be detonated. There must be something triggering from the outside. The fire must also be very big. So this is the division of not negligence, but sabotage.


A change of order is desired in the region. The order is changing in the Middle East. Now the UAE-Israel agreement has arrived. The Gulf countries’ relationship with Israel will increase. Syria is in a difficult situation. The USA has an activity to establish a YPG state in the region. They are trying to compress Turkey within the Eastern Mediterranean. When you look at all this, new layout plans are obvious. In this new order, Syria will be torn apart and a new Lebanon that we call “Greater Lebanon” will be established. The plan is upon the disintegration of Syria. The YPG has land, they called it the Autonomous Administration of Northern Syria. Then an oil agreement was signed with an US company. As this agreement was being signed, the US Secretary of State Pompeo was also involved. This is a very important event. Meanwhile, the US also has a plan to isolate Iran from the region.

The End of the Greater Middle East Project: The Case of Kurdistan

Likewise, it is the same for us. There is no whole and developed Turkey and Iran in the eyes of the Westerners. There is a disintegrated Middle East. They will also divide Palestine into emirates, 7-8 emirates. Looking at the region, all the countries of the region, except Tunisia and Egypt, are divided into tribes. So they are trying to materialize the MENA with a new format. They saw that this would not happen through wars, now they switched to a new format. The pandemic also played into their hands. Trade stopped, countries incurred debts, countries like Egypt had a hard time. They found a suitable solution and reconstructed the MENA by bringing forward the financial crises caused by the pandemic. They are trying to reshape the region.

On the one hand, there are new groupings, fronts and fights on a global scale, -Russia, China, India, USA… We are looking at how we can be better positioned in this grouping. We are stuck, but Europe is also stuck. The European Union could not even make a decision regarding the Eastern Mediterranean. There is no developed Turkey in the 21th projection of the Westerners, they are trying to filing to Turkey in time. But on the other hand, Europe does not have a power. By the way, England is staying very quiet. They watch from afar, but they have a lot of influence in the area. They have companies and intelligence agencies in the region.


What I have to emphasize once again is that; The explosion in Lebanon is not an accidental explosion, but a sabotage. The negligence is that the explosive is kept there. Why now? They say the time has come. Over the economic congestion, this explosion has now created a suitable basis for shaping Lebanon. The Greater Middle East Project (MENA) in the region is progressing fast. This explosion created a suitable ground for the disintegration of Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. It was their goal. Breaking up and sculpting the area. Turkey’s certainly got the attention. Plans to establish a PYD-YPG state were accelerated. Arabian opponents were sent, only Kurds were left in the region. The PKK in Turkey is likely to be drawn southward by disbanding itself. It will withdraw to the south of Iraq. They will remove the border, and force Turkey to recognize PYD / YPG. This was one of the aims of the explosion.

We should not keep things that will allow the saboteurs, there can be no such negligence, the state has to mind security. Turkey also need to pay attention. İmagine that there is such an explosion at Petkim in Izmit… Intelligence agents know these, we have to be very careful. Natural disasters can overwhelm a country without a war, like earthquakes, and such big explosions. After the disintegration of Iraq, the new Sykes Picot is aimed with this explosion.


2. Is it possible to evaluate the normalization agreement signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates within the scope of this plan?

This agreement has two goals. To encircle Iran and particularly Turkey.

This won’t just stop with the UAE. Other Gulf countries are also in line. Some diplomatic relations were already ongoing. It is now official. However, after the agreement, the “two-state solution” will be abandoned in the Palestinian cause. Palestine will be isolated. Today most powerful ally standing beside the Palestinians is Turkey. This agreement is targeted at Turkey as well. It is said that “the annexation will be delayed thanks to the agreement”. However, the West Bank is already under Israeli occupation and control. So this is actually a move towards the Contract of the Century. With this agreement, they sold Palestine. They will divide Palestine. Israel’s relations with the Gulf countries will further develop. By encircling Iran and Turkey; They will try to put into effect the plan to divide Syria and Lebanon.


3. The Iraqi government, has made strong statements about military operations conducted against the PKK terrorist organization in Turkey’s Iraq borders. They emphasized that there was a violation of sovereignty. They asked for help from other countries. Should these statements be evaluated in a diplomatic context or are there other reasons behind them?

The USA is behind these reactions. Turkey has not just started this new operation, it is an ongoing operation. There are the obstacles when the USA sets a YPG state in Syria: Turkey. The USA is trying to calm the reaction of Turkey through diplomatic moves. Even James Jeffrey had made a statement earlier, as “Turkey has the right to intervene the PKK “.

Will the proxy war in Iraq go hot?

Indeed, the USA is trying to do the following: To set up a 30 km safe zone in the Turkey-Iraq border. To have Turkey prevent leakage there. They say PKK that ‘go down toward south and dissolve itself and join the YPG.’ Then they suppose Turkey to allow the state that will be established. This is the US plan.

2 people died from the Iraqi army during the operations of Turkey, and under the pretext of that, they are attempting to compress Turkey diplomatically, and force it to obey the plan. They say, “PKK closed and dissolved itself, YPG and PKK are not the same, recognizing the  YPG is legitimate.” It is the same like Barzanistan in northern Iraq. The USA is behind this. These are the diplomatic moves that the US used when establishing a YPG state.

Ismail Hakkı Pekin
Retired Lt. Gen. Ismail Hakkı Pekin is the former Head of Turkey’s General Staff Intelligence Agency between 2007-2011. He was born in 1951 in Iznik. He is married and is the father of two children.

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December 2023