Thread: Olive Oil as victim of #Syria’s War Economy
In spite of very favorable crop for olives that is usually grown in Kurdish areas around Afrin & North, #Aleppo residents are having to pay exorbitant retail prices for Syrian Olive oil as it gets shipped to #Turkey instead =>
2-Healthy harvest usually drives retail prices of Olive oil down. On the street of Afrin, a container of 16.5 Kg of olive oil currently sells for as little as SYP 13,000. #Aleppo (40 km away) residents however, are having to pay SYP 30,000 for the very same Container. Why? ==>
3-Armed groups in control of #Afrin are sending the finished Ollive oil to Turkey first. If any of the olive oil were to make to the residents of #Aleppo , the countless checkpoints along the 40km road collect enough fees to send prices of each container up by nearly
2-On #Saudi : No question that Riyadh/Damascus rapprochement is difficult to foresee. Note that this shift is being led #UAE and not Saudi. Riyadh is expected to follow and yes, reluctantly. Damascus is just as easy about this given Saudi’s early support of the Opp. BUT ==>
3-When discussing Riyadh/Damascus, it’s critical to think about Qatari/Saudi schism. If forced to choose, who should Damascus side with? Answer: #Saudi . Why? #Qatar is ardent supporter of the Moslem Brotherhood (enemy of both Damascus & Riyadh). Doha is also still supporting Opp
1-There is no consensus over fate of Idlib, 2-how exactly refugees will return, 3- whether regime should make political concessions, 4- what role Iran should play, 5- under what conditions should reconstruction funding be made. Here are my Answers => atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/syriasou…
On 1- Yea, there is consensus over the fate of #Idlib. It is Syrian territory and participants spoke of need to ensure the country’s sovereignty. The current status quo is “temporary” therefore before the Syrian State reclaims the province hopefully through reconciliation ==>
On 2- Refugees can return to Syria at their choosing and anytime they are ready to reconcile with the State.
#SRO | ARCHIVES | REGIME USING #BOSRA SHAM OLD RUINS AS MILITARY POSITIONS (March 2015) - Here is a very rare footage showing #Assad regime fighters using ruins in Old #Bosra city as a military camp inside the city from 2013 to 2015 :
ADD.: regime is well know to have used many archeological sites and historcal sites and ruins as military camps against many international laws (#Palmyra antiqual city [#Homs], Halabiyah castle [#Deir_Ezzor], #Harem citadel [#Idlib], #Aleppo citadel, #Homs citadel...).
ADD.: rebellion isn't also very clean on this subject : Qalaat al-Hosn (#Krak des Chevaliers) citadel [#Homs] or Apamea archeological site in Qalaat al-Mudiq [#Hama] were used as military strategic areas.
1/ The #Saudi kidnapping of #Khashoggi reminds me of the kidnapping of #Hariri. It is meant to embarrass the other party, this time the gov of #Turkey, and provoke a diplomatic crisis. This is drug Cartel methods. It has no other goal than to assert power over the other.
2/ However, resorting to these methods to assert power in the political and international affairs sphere is always a sign of weakness and a sign of a power in crisis. #SaudiArabia
In order to understand the #Idlib “de-escalation agreement”, one must understand the nature of relationship between #Putin & #Erdogan. Best to think of both leaders as being engaged right now. Not yet in a full marriage but neither is ready to walk away from each other just yet=>
2-Engagements don’t last forever. They either end in marriage or in walking away for good. This engagement phase will be tested over the coming months as Erdogan is expected to deliver on promises he made to his partner.
3-Naturally, Syrian Leadership is watching this engagement phase very closely. The base case scenario in Damascus appears to expect Erdogan to experience significant challenges in delivering on the promises he made to his partner. The coming few months will prove to be decisive
Excellent write-up by J. Flores at FRN on Russia going along with western narrative over the IL-20 jet downed on Monday.
That French frigate Auvergne shot down the plane is a long shot, but #NATO wanting to sever #Russia–#France ties is nothing new. fort-russ.com/2018/09/full-a…
Summing up the facts that led to, and followed, the downing of a Russian IL-20 plane.
Thread on status of Syrian Opposition post the "demilitarized zone" agreement in #Idlib . Thus far, most commentary has regarded the deal as a win for the Opp since risk of imminent strike on the province has been avoided. But is this deal really a positive for opp? Answer: No=>
2-Let's step back first. This is an Opp that was formed with goal of toppling the State (diplomatic language of Geneva process called it political transition). Nothing short of above was acceptable to this opp. As of yesterday, mere avoidance of strikes is now seen as a win
3-Let's not also forget that from early days of Geneva's political transition talks, the only political activity left now is an attempt to establish constitutional committee. All else has been shelved. Now that we established the general status of the opp, let's discuss this deal
Couple of tweets re the Putin/Erdogan “demilitarisation” deal on #Idlib:
1. The Syrian regime army is depleted to the point of collapse. Without Russia/Hezbollah support they couldn’t advance against Turkish-backed and properly armed rebels thedailybeast.com/assads-final-o…
2. A lot of hyperbole around about Idlib being controlled by al-Qaeda. This BBC explainer is quite good on the balance of forces there: bbc.co.uk/news/world-454… But need to add that Turkey & HTS are not friends - Turkey wants this deal for leverage against HTS, who it can’t contol
Thread listing Preliminary observations on the announcement of the “Demilitarized Zone” in #Idlib today: What does it mean for Turkey, Russia, Damascus and the armed groups? What is the likely risk/reward calculus for each party? What should we expect going forward? ===>
2– Let’s recap what we seem to know first: A zone 9-12 miles long would be established by Oct. 15. It would contain no heavy weapons or extreme elements of the insurgency (al-Qaeda-linked militants). It would be be patrolled by Turkish and Russian forces
3-First critical point to note is whether this deal will end up securing the highway that passes through Idlib and links the north and south of the country under Govt control together. This was of course one of the strategic aims of Damascus from any #Idlib operation
For the record, while everyone seems to believe that the number of civilians in #Idlib is close to 3 million, a Damascus source who has been very prescient in the past believes that the actual number may not exceed 1 million.
2-To suggest that 3 Million civilians live in #Idlib is to suggest:
A-That pre-war housing stock & other infrastructure was able to accommodate double the pre-war population
B-Moreover, safe to assume both housing & infrastructure now nowhere near pre-war conditions/capacity
3-In effect, for #Idlib to host 3 Million now compared to 1.2-1.5 pre-war is to assume either a building boom (not war) or construction of massive camps that would host such massive numbers. Yet to see credible images of such camps or investments in the housing stock
Even Jihadists who became " Turkish proxies moderate rebels" are criticising the showing off of al-Nusra, aka HTS, of its flags and jihadists during yesterday's manifestation in the Turkish controlled area of northern #Syria.
Foreign Fighter the Emir Abu Abdallah al-Iraqi (from #Iraq), Emir of Sheikh Ali and western rural #Aleppo#Syria, has arrested several people who refused to rise al-Nusra (HTS) flag in #Idlib manifestation.
I terroristi delle Milizie Libero invadono i due villaggi cristiani vicini Qunaye e Yacoubiye assaltando gli uffici pubblici uccidendo la polizia e terrorizzando gli abitanti usati scudi umani #Idlib#Sapevatelo#NonViDicono#IdlibLibera
#Siria🇸🇾 Fine 2013
Terroristi #IS prendono il controllo dei villaggi cristiani Qunaye e Yacoubiye rompono le croci delle chiese impediscono il suono delle campane, impongono il velo alle donne e divieto di circolazione ai civili #Idlib#Sapevatelo#NonViDicono#IdlibLibera
#Siria🇸🇾 Dal 2014 sotto l’occupazione dei Terroristi dello Stato Islamico #IS fuggono tanti giovani e famiglie dei villaggi cristiani Qunaye e Yacoubiye e i tagliagola con loro famiglie occupano loro case e terreni #Idlib#Sapevatelo#NonViDicono#IdlibLibera
1) Back in 2015 #Idlib was Syrian Governement stronghold.
On 24 of March of 2015 a Jiahdist Alliance started their offensive on the city
They called themselves Army of Conquest ( جيش الفتح/Jaish al-Fatah)
So it seems #Idlib ops (divided into 3 stages) has been moved for a further date, giving me enough time to close the Iraqi news and return to #Syria, soon.
#Turkey failed to integrate al-Nusra, aka Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham, within rebels army (it might succeed at a certain point); failed to isolate al-Qaeda (Hurras el-Deen) & foreign fighters, incl Chinese Uyghur jihadists. So Erdogan turned against the #EU
Short THREAD on #Russia - #Turkey divergences over #Idlib as seen from #Moscow: 1. In early August I described rationale behind RU positon & that "certain level of understanding reached w/ TUR that there should be no [large-scale] offensive on Idlib [then]"almon.co/338t
2.I recently reached out to the same senior RUS diplomat who reiterated #Moscow's bottom-line desire to settle the issue peacefully except for terrorists organization who he argued #Turkey too agreed to fight as part of AStana agreements.Yesterday,RU #Syria envoy Lavrentyev..
3. .alluded to #Russia's growing displease w/ #Ankara's inability to deliver upon its committments in the area that, as Lavrentyev said"is kind of their zone of responsibility."Instead,#Erdogan writing op-eds,trying to enlist support from #West/ern partners over #Idlib which is..
“Moderate rebels played a key role in Turkey’s fight against terrorists in Northern #Syria; their assistance and guidance will be crucial in Idlib as well”
2-Erdogan: “Preventing the assault on #Idlib need not set back counter-terrorism efforts. Turkey has succeeded in fighting terrorist groups, including ISIS and the PKK, without harming or displacing civilians”
Notice how he doesn’t include Nusra /al-Qaeda in above group
3- Erdogan: “Turkey’s ability to maintain order in Northern #Syria is proof that a responsible approach to counter-terrorism can win hearts and minds”
Muhammed Najem was in Ghouta saying the exact same things before Assad liberated that part of Syria from Jihadist "rebels". This teenager is taking selfies for propaganda purposes and shame on Al Jazeera for participating in this. #Idlib#IdlibDawn#IdlibOffensive #HandsOffSyria
A big part of the Russian-led disinformation campaign surrounding Syria is psychological warfare designed to condition people not to care when Russian/Syrian forces slaughter civilians. One of the main ways this is accomplished is by portraying those targeted as terrorists. 1/
These are just a few examples from this week. Right now, Assad & Putin are targeting #Idlib, which is home to 3 million people, many of whom fled to the province when they were forcibly displaced from their homes. Now they're all being portrayed as terrorists. 2/
Often, Russian govt officials will claim to have knowledge of some "terrorist" plot in the region being targeted, and they use that as an excuse to destroy entire towns and kill, injure and/or displace the civilians who live there. 3/