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Farnborough International #FIA18 is a major arms fair, with the UK government pushing international arms sales. Here are the military delegations they invited: gov.uk/government/new… #StopArmigSaudi #warStartsHere
The UK government has, of course, invited Saudi Arabia to shop for weapons at Farnborough. The Saudi-led bombing of #Yemen is utilising many of the weapons exhibited at #FIA18, from BAE's Eurofighter Typhoon, and Raytheon and MBDA missiles. #StopArmingSaudi
Shown here at Farnborough 2014 - some of the weaponry since used in the Saudi-led war on Yemen. Thousands of deaths and a humanitarian catastrophe later, the UK government is still pushing for *more* sales. #StopArmingSaudi #WarStartsHere #FIA18
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Today is the 24th day since Start Proper in Chamonix. Here's an update thread on every participant, this time starting from the head of the pack as leader Raf Van Hulle will reach #Almaty #Kazakhstan.
Raf Van Hulle - Team Hyunday Elevator with Unikuu suffered from strong winds and fatigue in the last days as he couldn't rest so well. He'll be crossing into China within the next 2-3 days. His Instagram: instagram.com/rafvanhulle/
Stéphane Bertrand with Déclic-Eco % @Photowatt follows roughly 400km behind and had scorching hot temperatures (over 40°C) Which slowed him down to 200km yesterday, breaking his streak of 3 days clocking in at 398km!
FB Page: facebook.com/stephanebertra…
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Top international adviser to #Iran's SP Ali Akbar Velayati speaking @ValdaiClub now:says term #MiddleEast is British concept, he'd rather use West Asia/North Africa,argues due to #US influence some countries seek to play greater regional role (than they can)
Velayati:*throughout history external powers sought to dominate Mideast, #US no exception here, #Libya, #Somalia brought manifestations of western FP,#Trump seeks to undermine region,he wants to partition #Syria as they did w/ 🇱🇾 & #Iraq - bith once big, important states
Velayati: New element is after Islamic Revolution #Iran able to conduct policies independent of Western states, this is real reason why #US seeks to counter IRN.But if ot were not for #Russia & IRN, Leader of Nusra would be ruling today in #Damascus, head of #ISIS-in #Baghdad.
Read 12 tweets
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Michael Dempsey argues that after the pro-Asad forces roll over Deraa, Idlib is next, and then comes the east, against the U.S. partner, the #SDF/#PKK, unless the U.S. does some creative thinking and stays invested. <Some comments below> warontherocks.com/2018/07/what-d…
I am not sure that #Turkey will stand aside in Idlib. Dempsey is right that the Turks' presence is "limited" but as a military-political matter (calling it a "red line", coping with an influx of 2m refugees plus terrorists, space it gives to PKK) Ankara needs to hold its ground.
On the Asad Alliance side, yes, if Asad/Iran decide to attack #Idlib, Russia can do nothing and will join in. Even so, assuming Turkey does not fold, it's not clear the regime coalition has the capacity for this offensive. Perhaps it does, but that shouldn't be an assumption.
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☘️MondayMadness☘️

Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh, U.S. CC Judge of the U.S. Ct of App for the D of C , to replace Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy on the #SCOTUS

Ex-WH ethics chief Norm Eisen files complaint demanding probe into Jim Jordan sex abuse coverup claims
☘️MondayMadness2☘️

A federal judge has ordered Michael Flynn and Robert Mueller’s team to appear in court on Tuesday for a hearing

The Secretive Puppetmaster Behind Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

Ivanka Trump's Chinese-Made Products Conveniently Spared From Dad's Tariffs
☘️MondayMadness3☘️

Trade Wars Risk Sparking Mass Currency Devaluations

Pyongyang is now emphasizing that the Summit accord is just the start of talks, not a promise to unilaterally disarm as 45 falsely claimed.

James Packer resigns from Consolidated Press Holdings board
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<Brief Thread> on some CIA reports as the #PKK insurgency was beginning in #Turkey.
HT @Ayei_Eloheichem, who found these materials. He covers Russia, Israel, terrorism, espionage, and more. Give him a #FF.
In August 1985, the CIA believed that the #PKK insurgency in #Turkey that had begun exactly a year before was all-but finished because of the internal divisions in the Kurdish population and the gangsterism of the PKK, plus no support from Iraqi Kurds. bit.ly/2uk88k3
Read 17 tweets
Amid #Assad regime offensive in south #Syria, worth bearing in mind its continued bombing of areas in #Idlib - also under a so-called “de-escalation zone.”

Having watched the southern zone dissolved w/o response from #Jordan or #Israel, #Turkey’s now warning #Idlib = “red line."
#Turkey has deployed its own armed forces to x12 “observation posts” fencing in opposition areas & enforcing de-escalation.

#Russia seems invested in stability in #Idlib - but for how long?

After #Deraa, will #Assad & #Iran destroy the last remaining “de-escalation zone”?
For now, expect periodic regime bombing raids & notably, also ‘spoiling’ attacks by fighters unrestrained by #Turkey’s iron grip.

#HTS will remain internally divided on de-escalation -- the more regime bombings, the heavier the pressure for #HTS to respond = #Assad opportunity.
Read 8 tweets
The U.S.'s proposal for an accord with #Russia over #Syria, the purpose of which is to get #Iran out, is broadly known from reporting. Folks familiar with the Syria policy discussions clarified some details. <Thread below>
As an aside: the Syria policy seems to have been taken away from the State Department, wholly into the White House, specifically into the hands of John Bolton, in the run-up to this summit with Putin.
The U.S. will propose:
- Withdrawal of #Iran's personnel (inc. #Hizballah) from Syria, *not* in a "phased" manner but as Stage One of the process;
- After six months, with verification Iran is gone, the U.S. will shut down its bases, not just Tanf, all in the SDF/PKK area
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Meetings held between #Russia and militants representative in #Daraa today where #Damascus central government's conditions were presented to avoid further military operation. Most anti-gov forces are happy to surrender. More (good) news in the next 24-48 hours.#Syria.
Soon "Twitter journalists", "Divan analysts" and other similar will be jobless since only two forces remain occupying Syrian territories in the north, mushroomed in the 7 years of war: #USA and #Turkey.

Those in south #Syria who have collaborated with #Israel, will find the doors closed and won't be adopted by Tel Aviv, similar to the South Lebanese Army in the year 2000 (Israel withdraw from Lebanon). No one wants losers. Proxies become a heavy burden.

Read 4 tweets
I'm surprised not reading any analysis yet on the link between the electoral victory of Turkish nationalist MHP and the issue of Syrian refugees.

A potential post-election driving wedge between Erdogan and MHP is the future of 3.5 Syrian refugees.
#Turkey
In post-election victory speech, with an understanding heightened resentment against the refugees, Erdogan repeated that they will be relocated back to Syria. Despite rhetoric, however, Erdogan will face tough challenges to send millions of refugees back to insecure #Syria.
Turkish economy has already absorbed the refugees as cheap labor—a reality that drives higher unemployment rates among Turks, increasing public anxiety. Turkish government may even face a bigger problem if Damascus assaults Idlib to push 2 million civilians into Turkey’s borders.
Read 6 tweets
Politicizing your entire life is not only exhausting, it's terrible politics that is too far removed from normals to be electorally viable, writes @NoahCRothman. commentarymagazine.com/american-socie…
Adopting a brash style to compete with Trump isn't going to work, writes @jpodhoretz: people who want that will vote for Trump. commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas…
Bernard Lewis once predicted that #Turkey + #Iran would change places: Turkey would lean further to its Islamic identity at an official level, and the more secular opposition would triumph in Iran. The trendlines are vindicating Lewis, writes @SohrabAhmari commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas…
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from reports from several accounts i hear that 4 people are wounded and possibly 3 dead in a shooting in suruç (urfa province). alleged perpetrators: #akp candidate mp and his assistents campaigning. victims: owners of small business who didn't want akp in their shop. #turkey
latest: 2 dead (the father and son who owned the shop and refused campaigning #akp candidate mp inside) and 8 wounded. @OzgurrGundem reports the campaigning akp man was ibrahim halil yıldız. pics via same account.
death toll reportedly up to 5. #suruç
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Today's @UN meeting will totally reject this @nikkihaley text: "Condemns Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel & for inciting violence along the boundary fence, thereby putting civilians at risk, demands that Hamas cease all violent activity and provocative actions..."
"...further condemns the diversion of resources in Gaza to construct military infrastructure, including tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to launch rockets into civilian areas, when such resources could have addressed the critical needs of the civilian population..."
"...and expresses grave concern about the destruction of the Kerem Shalom crossing by actors in Gaza, which has severely hindered deliveries of food and fuel for the people of Gaza."
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It’s extraordinary just how much BS gets created in people’s minds.

I never once expressed “support” for #Turkey’s #Afrin operation.

- Did I say it was inevitable? Yes.
- Did I observe it & comment on its advance vis-a-vis broader #Syria dynamics (i.e. my job)? Yes.
My critique has always been about the imbalance/s created in northern #Syria by U.S. counter-#ISIS policy.

The #YPG was/is the #PKK - all U.S. officials admit that in private. That didn’t necessarily have to preclude working with them, but ignoring it caused big, big problems.
#pt: As an analyst of terrorist groups, I did see a certain irony & short-sightedness in the words of one top, serving U.S. official, “allying with a terrorist group (#PKK) to fight another terrorist group (#ISIS).”

It’s got nothing to do with any position on #Kurds, whatsoever.
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U.S. counter-#ISIS strategy & its insistence on ignoring/denying the #YPG’s roots helped give birth to problems like #Afrin today.

Everything was driven by short-term objectives, with their long-term implications constantly swept aside as inconvenient distractions.

Now look.
Was the U.S. right [at the time] to partner with the #YPG? Absolutely.

Were sufficient, honest efforts put in place to balance the consequences of working with the #YPG? No.

The result = a profound imbalance & a security challenge that #Turkey was always going to hit back at.
#pt: The #YPG did a superb job at liberating territory from #ISIS control; they were a truly reliable partner.

BUT, the U.S’s creation of a profound imbalance in northern #Syria - ironically - created the conditions in which the #YPG stood to lose a great deal.

Look at #Afrin.
Read 5 tweets
Interesting [alleged] details on possible US-#Turkey roadmap on #Manbij, #Syria - from @ragipsoylu.

#PKK “advisors” to leave… followed later by #YPG… TSK to control 5/11 observation posts & train new local security force to replace #SDF in ~6 months.
@ragipsoylu Unsurprisingly, the #PKK-controlled, #YPG/#SDF-run #Manbij Military Council (MMC) has refused any TSK presence.

Seems U.S. did not pre-consult with MMC - why? Would seem the logical thing to work out internal issues first…

Does someone want spoilers?

reuters.com/article/us-mid…
@ragipsoylu The #YPG/#SDF’s political “co-chair,” Ilham Ahmed (a #PKK veteran) has reportedly arrived in #Damascus for talks with the #Assad regime.

Ilham Ahmed is a regular visitor to Washington DC - a close partner to the U.S/@CJTFOIR/@StateDept.
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#Assad: we didn't send people to #Idlib, they wanted to go to Idlib because all these groups have the same incubator and ideas. (around min 5) rt.com/news/428299-as…
#Assad on the #SDF: we share much in common, including profound mistrust of the Americans, we are going to negotiate with the SDF, if no negotiations, we are going to liberate by force, with or without the Americans in the picture (around min 12)
#Assad: #Israel is panicking because it lost its dear ones, #alQaeda/#Nusra. Both targeted our air defenses, Israel & #US inflicted some loss, but thanks to #Russia, the situation is getting better. Recent attacks by the Americans, English and French prove this point.
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⚡️⚡️⚡️#SDF reported to prepare for redeploying their forces from mostly Arabian cities of #Manbij, #Raqqa and #Tabqa. The decision was taken 4 day ago in talks with Gulf representatives in Ain Issa. The Saudi and Emirates occupation of #Syria's East will replace the #US one
#Saudi military advisors hold talks with #Kurdish representatives in #Kobani (Ayn al Arab)
wp.me/p7TRRn-6HW
#Turkish, #US forces will control #Syria's #Manbij region until new administration is formed. #SDF will withdraw till the end of the summer – #Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut #Cavusoglu
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THREAD: The US @StateDept released its annual #ReligiousFreedom report today. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, here's where #LGBT issues come up in this year's reports.
#LGBT issues feature in this year's reports on Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Costa Rica, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, the Maldives, Mauritania, New Zealand, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sudan, Syria & Turkey. (And I probably missed others.)
The report on #Australia stays pretty neutral in its discussion of the legalization of same-sex marriage and subsequent push for religious exemptions under Australian law. state.gov/documents/orga…
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I will share an analyse about upcoming Battle of #Dara
Preparations of the #SAA continue in #Dara region. #SAA #FSA #Syria #ISIS #HTS #Syrianrebels
Huge battle is coming.
The first target of the campaign against opponents will probably be the el #Lajat plateau , which threatens the supply line to the #SAA controlled #Dara city.
Read 38 tweets
#BreakingNews:
@realDonaldTrump announced the #USA revokes #IranNuclearDeal.

#Iran will follow & is expected to deny any access to #IAEA inspectors to any nuclear facility in the country and re-open closed nuclear facilities.
Iran will never renounce on its missile development.
The @realDonaldTrump will sign in few moments (as he said) more sanctions on #Iran as #USA withdraw from the #IranNuclearDeal

#Iran has prepared for this day its financial and business backup in other countries but will be affected by #USA decision.

#Russia is also expected to take a position in relation to @realDonaldTrump withdrawal from the #IranNuclearDeal

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"A Bulgarian man has been charged in the United States with exporting aircraft parts to #Syria in violation of a U.S. embargo, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday."
reuters.com/article/us-usa…
Syrian state TV airs Wednesday's meeting between #Syria's Bashar Assad & Ali Akbar Velayati, int'l affairs advisor to #Iran's Ali Khamenei, claiming the meeting took place today.
Arab news agencies reported this meeting yesterday, saying Velayati returned to Iran.
I thought this would be a good reminder...
A Syrian child breaking down in tears saying Assad is killing us...
What did we do to him?
#AnimalAssad
Read 381 tweets
#Syria UPDATE: 1. So, it appears #Russia, #US working on de-escalation options now via a number of "middle men". RUS military stated earlier it's been in touch w/ American Joint Chief of Staff over the issue & there're Rus-#NATO communication/talks via #Turkey military.
2.#Putin spoke on the phone w/ #Netanyahu earlier today. #Russia Prez said #Syria sovereignty should be respected, urged to refrain from actions that "could further destabilize the situayion in the country." #Israel's PM stood the ground on #Iran's prwsence in SYR as unacceptable
3. In #Moscow rumors have it #Netanyahu playing important intermediary role b/n #Putin & #Trump now, (an option #Russia has long been favoring) but no details on how big his role is. Anyways, some kind of deal to deconflict is being attempted
Read 8 tweets
In few moments will share some information about the forthcoming war in #Syria.
1+/ The US/EU war on Syria is expected in the next 10 hours according to sources in #Syria close to decision makers.

All Syrian troops were ordered to empty their barracks and keep 5% presence only.
2+/ #USA and #EU may target - as expected - the Syrian Air Force (many dislocated and other spread but not flying), the central for command and control, all radars and known anti-air missiles, Ministry of Defence, Presidential Palace and other sensitive Syrian bases.
Read 14 tweets
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