Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #pts

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Using an #America-centric lens to criticize #Turkey for making national security judgements based on a #Turkey-centric lens is analytically dubious.

Whether we like it or not, #Turkey has fought a 40-year #PKK insurgency & sees the #PKK as its No.1 national security threat.
#pt: And FWIW, using Aldar Khalil as the sole source to claim that the #PYD-#PKK relationship is solely defined by "intellectual lineage" & 'sympathy with one another's political goals' is analytically disingenuous.

Perhaps instead read the #PYD itself:

#pt: If the #PYD's very own website (deleted - but archived - after teaming up with the U.S. military in 2014) wasn't enough, take the public assessments of U.S. government's dedicated National CounterTerrorism Center (part of the Intelligence Community):

Read 7 tweets
That “1000” is, roughly, the entire US presence in #Syria.

What does “northern #Syria” mean? Are they being drawn down to Deir ez Zour? Are we seeing an Arab-focused last chance strategy in slow formation?
The U.S. withdrawal from #Syria is underway, as directed overnight by #Trump & supported by @DeptofDefense.

As I wrote a few days ago, opening the doors to #Turkey put the writing on the wall.

- "Making America Great Again” has never sounded so vapid."

mei.edu/blog/trump-pav…
@DeptofDefense HUGE developments in north #Syria, as the #SDF agrees a de facto surrender deal w. the #Assad regime, in return for a #Russia-backed #SAA move to block #Turkey's advances.

Looks like #Manbij, #Kobani, #Qamishli & possibly #Raqqa are all included in this agreement.

#SAA moving.
Read 10 tweets
I've made my thoughts clear on how *bad* #Trump's decisions have been for #Syria policy (& the #SDF).

But let's just get something straight:

- The U.S. knowingly decided to ally with a designated terrorist organization (the #PYD/#YPG) in 2014 to fight #ISIS in #Kobani & beyond.
#pt: The State Dept, NCTC & CIA all viewed the #PYD as the #PKK's #Syria affiliate in 2013 -- that's in public documents.

That label was [quietly] removed in 2014.

In #Turkey - a #NATO state, whether we like it or not - the #PKK is viewed as *the* existential security threat.
#pt: #Turkey was complicit in terrible #Syria border control & ties to #Nusra. No doubt.

But put that aside for minute:

Imagine if a foreign state brought #ISIS to #Mexico & armed it to fight cartels, while assuring #Washington: "don't worry, they're only interested in Mexico."
Read 8 tweets
Amid the ongoing conflict in NW #Syria, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (#HTS) continues to evolve in intriguing ways - into a more politically mature & intelligent jihadist movement.

It's current leadership clearly seeks to position itself somewhere between #MuslimBrotherhood & #AlQaeda.
There's now little question that #HTS no longer represents #AlQaeda.

It's clearly still an extremist movement, but signs continue to add up indicating that it's developing into something qualitatively different than the Jabhat al-Nusra of 2014-15 - a "Shami #Taliban," perhaps.
Most recently in the public space, #HTS issued a statement acknowledging its willingness to abide by an externally-negotiated (by #Turkey, #Iran & #Russia) ceasefire.

That was a first.

Its never happened before in #Syria & it's not a move any #AlQaeda affiliate would ever take.
Read 15 tweets
NEW - @WSJ confirms the @CIA & @DeptofDefense have a new "secret" missile - the R9X, or "flying Ginsu" - which kills a selected target with 6 blades, but no explosive payload.

-- "To the targeted person, it's as if a speeding anvil fell from the sky."

wsj.com/articles/secre…
@WSJ @CIA @DeptofDefense #pt: The R9X, or "flying Ginsu," is said to have been used only twice, globally.

One of those times was on Feb 26, 2017, when it killed al-Qaeda deputy leader Abu Al-Khayr al-Masri in #Idlib, #Syria.

See the image I tweeted from the scene, that day:

@WSJ @CIA @DeptofDefense #pts: The #R9X quite clearly causes no damage to the surrounding area, massively minimizing the risk to civilians.

Look at the targeted vehicle itself - the body of the Kia is entirely intact, save for the penetrated interior, right through the roof:

Read 3 tweets
The scale of the #SriLanka attacks is hard to fathom - 290 dead & 500+ wounded.

Target choice, scope, coordination & device success rate makes an international nexus here *highly* likely.

Both #ISIS & #AQIS have reported links w. Sri Lanka/ns, but no evidence yet links to this.
#pt: #SriLanka authorities have pinned initial blame on indigenous Islamist movement @ntjinfo, but I'd be amazed if they - or any similar local organization - had the capacity to conduct such a complex series of mass-casualty attacks.

The bomb-maker alone appears very adept.
@ntjinfo #pt: As @RobertPostings has revealed, one of the allegedly-identified #SriLanka suicide bombers, "Zahran Hashim," was an overt #ISIS supporter (as of late-2017), with a social media following of 4,000+.

#SriLanka has also acknowledged ~40 citizens joined #ISIS in #Syria/#Iraq.
Read 11 tweets
Reports tonight suggest #ISIS has captured the town of al-Kawm (north of al-Sukhna, in #Syria's #Badiya) from the #Assad regime.

A number of #ISIS operations have been reported around Kobajeb, al-Shula & NE of al-Sukhna in recent weeks.
#pt: Amid #ISIS's reported capture of al-Kawm today, #ISIS has also been linked to at least 2 major assaults on pro-#Assad positions outside al-Sukhna in the last 3 days - some say totaling 30+ pro-regime fatalities.

#Syria
#pt: Reports coming from pro-#Assad sources say "2 battalions" of the #SAA's 18th Reserve were besieged by #ISIS in al-Kawm several days ago.

Only today was the siege lifted amid a counter-attack by Liwa al-Quds.
Read 6 tweets
Hello, everyone!

We're going to kickstart our weekly #GlobalEChats discussion thread. This week, we'll talk about #fitness #personal #trainer as #entrepreneurs and how #tech can change everything!

Ready? Let's go!
Let's first start with two possibilities in the future.

1. We no longer need humans as #PT personal trainers at the #gym or #field. All will be replaced by #tech and smart applications! 😲

2. Human PTs will still be demanded but will utilise #tech to improve their coaching!
Do you think #1 is truly possible? It seems a bit far-fetched, no?

Meet @ollinfit! Ollinfit is a set of three wearable sensors and smartphone app that work together as your personal trainer. Say what???

Using Ollinfit, you'll be able to workout without needing human coaching!
Read 15 tweets
Here, a @UKLabour MP praises a notorious conspiracist who says meeting Bashar al-#Assad was her "proudest" moment.

She's justified incendiary weapons & barrel bombs on civilian targets; suggested 9/11 was a false flag; Zionists rule #France & the #CharlieHebdo attack was fake.
@UKLabour Extraordinary.

@UU_University invited notorious conspiracist Vanessa Beeley to lecture on “War Reporting.”

Her claims were so outlandish, the students walked out & boycotted the course, calling it “a propaganda camp.”

news.postimees.ee/4511277/top-un…

(PS - Look at the pictured slide)
@UKLabour @UU_University #pt: Among Beeley’s claims at @UU_University:

- @hrw is run by a secret “Jewish organization called the #Washington elite.”

- #Russia only promotes international peace

- #Syria’s opposition "tear pregnant women in half, betw'n cats”

- All media (e.g. @guardian) are govt tools
Read 4 tweets
He’s traded with #ISIS; acquired land expropriated from displaced civilians; and become super rich out of #Syria’s conflict & destruction.

- Meet #Assad’s latest moneyman & likely route around international sanctions - Samer Foz.

wsj.com/articles/out-o…
Make no mistake, Samer Foz is an asset of #Assad's regime; empowered & facilitated by current & ‘retired’ security officials to get around tight foreign sanctions.

Foz has bankrolled militias in #Latakia & he stands accused of ordering the assassination of a rival in #Turkey.
#pts: Samer Foz also - allegedly - runs a quiet PR effort, both in the #EU & the U.S., which plays up one line over & over:

- 'Sanctions only hit innocent civilians & create terrorism… International investment is the key to saving #Syria, recreating jobs & bring back refugees.’
Read 3 tweets
Fascinating, in-depth reporting by @AP on the #Saudi-#UAE coalition’s complex dealing with #AQAP in #Yemen.

- Key thought: this is the challenge #AQAP (& Nusra/#HTS in #Syria) poses, by embedding into & reflecting broader local dynamics.

apnews.com/f38788a561d74c…
@AP #pt: Just like #HTS in #Syria, #AQAP in #Yemen is not a wholly contiguous organization of committed global jihadis - it's strengthened itself by embracing local drivers & structures.

=> That provides opportunities for counter-actors, but they require [some] engagement to do so.
@AP #pts: Another parallel to #Syria is seen in how the extent of localism embraced by #AQAP may in fact have weakened its long-term durability; by leaving large swathes of fighters vulnerable to cooptation by adversaries/rivals.

For more, see @Dr_E_Kendall:

Read 3 tweets
Robert Fisk’s latest “EXCLUSIVE” reveals just how little he knows about #Syria's opposition, its foreign relations & support networks.

Gloss over inaccuracies & he’s “revealed” what we've known for yrs - #Saudi backed the multilateral MOC, arming #FSA.
independent.co.uk/voices/syria-w…
#pt: #Saudi was a principle backer of the MOC; a multilateral structure created to centrally coordinate armed support to [extensively] pre-vetted #FSA groups in northern #Syria.

120mm M75 mortars were one of many systems provided through MOC channels - inc. to units in #Aleppo.
#pt: The purchase of arms from E. European states by countries backing #MOC (& #MOM in the south) has been extensively documented - it’s not a secret.

+ #Fisk’s portrayal of #Aleppo in late-2016 is insanely inaccurate - #ISIS had *0* presence & #Nusra was about 1% of fighters.
Read 5 tweets
#Iran-backed #Houthi attacks on x2 @Saudi_Aramco oil tankers in the Bab el-Mendeb is a really big deal.

All Aramco oil shipments have been temporarily suspended

arabnews.com/node/1345626/s…
@Saudi_Aramco Notably, yesterday’s #Houthi attacks on oil tankers come a week after the #Houthis claimed to have attacked a @Saudi_Aramco oil refinery in #Riyadh with a drone.

reuters.com/article/us-yem…
@Saudi_Aramco #pts: #Iran makes no secret of its threats to attack #Saudi oil & shipping, just as it's repeatedly threatened to attack US assets in the region, as Qassem Someimani did earlier:

- “We're ready to confront you; You'll start the war but we'll end it."

washingtonpost.com/world/middle_e…
Read 3 tweets
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.
Read 7 tweets
BIG NEWS overnight

- #Israel struck x12 military targets across #Syria (4+ directly controlled by #Iran).

- #Syria dispatched drone to #Golan (from T4 AB); downed by #Israel.

- In subsequent “ambush,” one Israeli F-16 was shot down by Syrian air defenses; landed in Galilee.
#pt: After that wave of escalator incidents, #Israel has launched a second mass wave of airstrikes in #Damascus - 6+ allegedly located near #Assad’s presidential palace.

*All* #Syria Army & pro-regime facilities have reportedly been placed on red alert.
#pts: It’s no secret that #Israel has been increasingly exasperated at #Iran’s growing capabilities & infrastructure in #Syria - escalation in strikes makes sense.

BUT an F-16 shoot-down raises big questions. Some reports say S-125 was responsible (missile wreckage in picture).
Read 7 tweets

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