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I have been reporting on these protests against the #SDF and the #Deir al-Zor region for years. I was one of the few to independently report from the area in 2019, a few months after the Baghouz was liberated from #IS (#ISIS).

Thread with links:
Mine from 2019: "...diesel is three times as expensive in Shuhail as it is in the Kurdish-dominant north, despite the proximity of key oil fields, and that this price gouging is only one of many ways the US-backed SDF is making local residents desperate"…
"....that doesn't justify what [the SDF is] doing. A 70-year-old man was killed. Four young men who had fought IS in the ranks of the SDF and two civilians were [killed] too. Why?”

Male relatives of those killed in a mysterious raid May 9 agreed to meet May 20 with Al-Monitor"
Read 11 tweets
1. Is Joey Hood trying to complete a #Daesh genocide of the Yazidi? What specific terrorist acts have #PKK committed in Sinjar? They are at most a separatist group engaged in a Turkish civil war for…‘Future-is-bright’-for-US-Kurdish-relations
2. over 40 years. The idea that the #KRG government will protect the Yazidi who they abandoned to #Daesh is absurd. This statement is going to give license to the Turks to attack more hospitals and refugee camps like yesterday's attack and they give license to the Turks
3. to kill our #SDF partners who, because they are Kurds, are all considered fair game by Ankara and apparently by the @SecBlinken @StateDept. IMO complicity in these political assassinations are EO 12,333 violations that can have people like Hood, @CENTCOM McKenzie and
Read 8 tweets
1. Americans feel they lost the war in #Afghanistan mostly because they forgot which war we were fighting. When you lose a war it's usually over. This war is not over. It's just changing the scenery.
2. We went to Afghanistan to stop Al-Qaeda from staging attacks from Afghanistan on the United States. That was the mission in 2001 and for most part we have succeeded in that mission. Al-Qaeda is still a threat to the US but for now not a threat that is coming from Afghanistan.
3. At present Turkey and Iran pose a much greater terrorist threat to the United States than Afghanistan has for well over a decade. Iran's malign activities in Iraq an, Syria, Gaza and Lebanon through proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah, are real strategic threats to America.
Read 11 tweets
1. In Northern #Syria members of al-#Qaeda and #Daesh fka #ISIS are embedded with #Turkish #TSK forces conducting daily attacks on US partner forces #SDF and civilians including #Kurds, #Ezidis and #Christians. IMO Turkey force is funded by #Qatar that with #Turkey and #Pakistan
2. forms a terrorist front that advances both ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Both Turkey and Qatar use the US bases and Pakistan uses US overflight as the way to keep our eyes averted to their terrorist affiliations. We will never be free of the FTO threat if we ignore state sponsors.
3. We need to give Turkey and Qatar 48 hours to disclose all their terrorist affiliations or @StateDept should list both as State Sponsors of Terror and block assets. This will never happen because both @StateDept and @CIA are fully infiltrated by Turkish intelligence service as
Read 4 tweets
JUST IN: #ISIS attacks in #Iraq #Syria up in April-June 2021 period compared to previous 3 months, per new @DoD_IG report

Warns reduction in violence at #alHol camp in Syria after #SDF sweep in April "may be only temporary" as ISIS retains a "strong presence" per @CENTCOM
MORE: Impact of #Iran-aligned militias has so far been "minimal" @CJTFOIR tells @DoD_IG, "but the attacks often resulted in the diversion of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) assets away from counter-ISIS activities" per acting IG Sean O'Donnell
"Efforts to promote regional stability in #Iraq & #Syria continued to face challenging conditions, including economic crises, drought conditions, & the #COVID19 pandemic" per @DoD_IG O'Donnell "These conditions...provide fertile opportunities for #ISIS to expand its influence"
Read 13 tweets
This all sounds eerily familiar & we all know what happened last time…

Incidentally, a step-by-step #Iraq withdrawal will impede & eventually kill the U.S. D-#ISIS presence too - where the fate of 10,000s or #ISIS-linked individuals remains entirely up in the air.
There are a lot of unknowns here:

- What's "step by step"?
- Are the steps conditional or unconditional/predetermined?
- What's the timeline?
- OIR has no combat troops, so language here is ambiguous.

Is #Baghdad playing politics again & making a mountain out of a molehill?
I'd guess that NSC #MiddleEast Coordinator McGurk asserted the existing USG position -- that U.S. troops won't be in #Iraq forever; the mission is changing (combat to advisory); and a withdrawal will gradually happen.

#Baghdad has pounced on that to assuage internal concerns.
Read 6 tweets
1. Here is clip from @POTUS nominee @JeffFlake on the decision to partner with who, at the time, were the #Kurdish #YPG #YPJ to stop the spread of #Daesh (aka #ISIS) in #Syria. This was after disastrous attempt to arm a #jihadist forces who simply gave their weapons to al-Qaeda.
2. I did some searches on Twitter timeline for that period of 2014. America was just waking up to the fact that the #Kurds were our best option to defeat #Daesh. There were risks but the decision has proven to be the correct one. Now under #AANES civilian authority backed by the
3. #SDF that includes Kurds, #Arabs and #Christians, Jeff Flake is a good choice and I applaud @joeBiden's @WhiteHouse and @JakeSullivan46 for thinking outside the box. I sincerely hope @SenatorMenendez
Read 5 tweets
Protests continue in #Manbij for the 3rd day today, as locals demonstrate against the #SDF's policy of forced conscription.

The tensions have turned deadly this time, with 6+ dead.

Nearby, #Turkey artillery has also struck #SDF positions - intriguingly leading to an #SAA death. ImageImage
Beyond the tensions that #SDF conscription has caused within Arab-majority communities, the financial implications are of particular significance.

The last I heard 3 weeks ago, the #AANES has 300,000+ people on the payroll (civilian & armed) -- and revenue is shrinking, fast.
The U.S -- first under #Obama, then #Trump & now #Biden -- positioned the #SDF not just as the frontline vs. #ISIS, but also as a rival to #Assad's regime.

To match that expectation, the #SDF needed to grow & achieve Arab balance -- BUT we're now actively removing its revenue.
Read 7 tweets
I'd be remiss if I didn't add that this move - described by @charlie_savage as "#Trump's secret rules" - was praised by several then-#ISIS-focused USG officials now serving as #Biden appointees.

This isn't an entirely partisan issue.
@charlie_savage #pt: Speaking at @MiddleEastInst
in July '17, @brett_mcgurk (now in @JoeBiden's NSC) said #Trump had introduced "key changes... that've made key differences..."

- "We've adopted a campaign of annihilation... a surround, constrict & annihilate strategy."

@charlie_savage @MiddleEastInst @brett_mcgurk @JoeBiden #pt: There's little/no debate across the partisan divide about the costs associated with "collateral damage" in CT strikes - BUT there *is* an active bipartisan debate about where to draw the line of risk under certain conditions.

The scale of the D-#ISIS campaign drew that out.
Read 6 tweets
Happening now: @CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie briefs Pentagon reports on #Afghanistan withdrawal

"I would advise the #Taliban we will be prepared to defend ourselves" he says
"We do plan to continue support to the Afghan will just be more difficult" per @CENTCOM's Gen. McKenzie

"We intend to continue to support them" he adds "It will be a tough fight for the Afghans"
"It is our intention to bring the contractors out, the US contractors will come out" per @CENTCOM's Gen. McKenzie, saying planner looking at other options to support Afghan air force

"We may be able to work some remote, televised way to do that"
Read 20 tweets
Happening now: @CENTCOM Commander Gen Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, @USAfricaCommand Commander Gen Stephen Townsend & @DeptofDefense Acting UnderSec Amanda Dory testify at the House Armed Services Committee
"In #Afghanistan, our mission has been preventing terrorist groups from using the country to threaten the interests & security of the UnitedStates, our allies & partners" acting Deputy UnderSec Dory tells lawmakers "After 2 decades...we have accomplished that mission"
"We are focused on working closely w/the Afghan gvt & our @NATO allies to responsibly conclude Operation resolute Support in #Afghanistan" per @CENTCOM Commander Gen McKenzie "This is my main effort, at present"
Read 53 tweets
If you read between the lines, this means #Assad's economy was doing OK when #ISIS controlled the oil fields, but when the #SDF took them, the regime suffered.

That's quite an admission -- so perhaps the documented & sanctioned oil trade between #ISIS & #Assad really mattered!
Just in case the tweets are deleted, here they are...

More broadly, #Assad's regime lost control of almost all its oil in 2014 -- 3yrs before this 'game-changing' moment cited from 2017.

In truth, @joshua_landis
& George Saghir are making a political, not analytical statement.
@joshua_landis If you want to be analytical (& truthful), take a look at the evolution of #Syria's economy -- like this chart by @Karam__Shaar shows.

Now, does October 2017 look like a game-changing moment? No.

Does the start of #Lebanon's banking crisis? Irrefutably, yes.
Read 4 tweets
Very interesting -- ahead of the D-#ISIS Small Group meeting, @aawsat_News says the coalition is considering expanding policy to include combating #ISIS in areas controlled by the #Assad-#Russia-#Iran alliance, which it says has "failed" to defeat #ISIS.
@aawsat_News It's been clear for a long time that #ISIS's resurgence, particularly in #Syria's central 'Badiya' desert was (a) sustainable & (b) eventually going to spillover into @CJTFOIR/#SDF areas on the eastern side of the #Euphrates.

We can sit & watch, or act.

@aawsat_News @CJTFOIR The @aawsat_News report says the D-#ISIS Coalition is working on a public statement in which 2 areas of pro-#Assad control -- the (1) Badiya & (2) #Syria-#Iraq border region -- could become areas of [aerial] @CJTFOIR operation.

The border is critical for logistics, finance etc.
Read 8 tweets
1. #Syria #SDF: Excerpt from Briefing with Acting Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS John Godfrey On U.S. Participation in the Upcoming D-ISIS Ministerial.…
2. "On Syria, our partnership with the Syrian Democratic Forces remains strong. We continue to support them in the coalition’s fight against ISIS and the SDF continues to do great work in maintaining pressure against ISIS in the northeast part of the
3. country. We continue to closely monitor ISIS activity throughout the country and assess that ISIS has continued its efforts to regroup and carry out attacks in non-SDF-controlled areas – particularly, as one example, in the Badia desert.
Read 7 tweets
Today marks 2yrs since the territorial defeat of #ISIS's proclaimed 'Caliphate' in #Syria & #Iraq.

Militarily, the group remains engaged in a pre-planned decentralized insurgency, which is sustaining a steady tempo in #Iraq & #SDF areas & a clear *resurgence* in central #Syria.
The D-#ISIS Coalition has done all the right things thus far, but a disinvestment in #Iraq or #Syria would unquestionably benefit #ISIS's long-term plan (which we've seen play out before: 2010-14).

The deviation here is #Assad-held central #Syria -- a zone of deep, deep concern.
As analysts like @GregoryPWaters have shown, #ISIS is engaged in a methodical/sustained resurgence in central Syria -- where pro-#Assad forces have proven incapable of containing, let alone defeating a dispersed desert insurgency.

Tempo/potency/scope are consistently increasing.
Read 14 tweets
Cryptocurrencies Thread
$BTC $XRP $XLM $ADA $VET #cryptocurrencies #cryptotwitter Image
$XLM #Stellar "to bank the unbanked population as well as to compete directly with the likes of SWIFT and Ripple in the space of cross-border transactions." Image
$XLM #Stellar Partnerships, Integrations, And Collaborations:
IBM, Smartlands, Stripe, HTC Exodus, Franklin Templeton, Wirex, Baracoin, Novatti Group, Saldo, Tempo, Bitbond, SureRemit, .... more
Read 24 tweets
NEW: "The terrorist threat is far from behind us at this point" @StateDept's acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism & acting envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat #ISIS John Godfrey tells @MiddleEastInst
Under @POTUS @JoeBiden "We will avoid announcing major policy initiatives or posture adjustments in a way that comes as a unwelcome surprise to partners & allies" @StateDept's Godfrey notes

"We will consult & we will coordinate"
Strategic review ongoing re white supremacist/domestic violent extremism - but not just domestically

"We're also focused on the transnational linkages of these domestic violent extremists" per @StateDept's Godfrey in @MiddleEastInst virtual conference
Read 22 tweets
NEW: High hopes for US-backed #Syria|n Democratic Forces now that they are dealing w/@POTUS @JoeBiden

"We are hopeful that the mistakes of the previous administration will be corrected" #SDF General Commander @MazloumAbdi tells @VOAKurdish's @mutludc in an exclusive interview
MORE: "The rights of Kurdish people, the rights of other people in our region must be protected by legal means, and the problem in #Syria must be solved in a comprehensive way" per @MazloumAbdi

"We hope that Washington will pursue an effective policy on this issue"
NEW: "#ISIS is not finished has intensified its attacks" #SDF General Commander @MazloumAbdi tells @VOAKurdish

"They come to our region from areas under the control of the #Syria|n regime & from #Iraq"
Read 5 tweets
So excited to receive my hand-delivered copy of @gaylelemmon’s Daughters of Kobani. Stay tuned! Catch Gayle and I in a special episode of #DefenseOneRadio next week talking about her original on-the-ground reporting in @DefenseOne that helped seed this book. #syria #sdf #ypj
The Mothers Who Fled the Turkish Incursion @gaylelemmon @DefenseBaron…
Read 8 tweets
Another year is going to finish. 2020 has left us with fewer military events in the Syrian military conflict. Reflecting the enormous influence of the regional powers in the country, where the end of the war is still far away due to political blockade that has led to a stalemate
As we saw during the last days of 2019, #SAA had begun #Op_Redemption3 in order to retake M5 highway. After a small hiatus during the first weeks of January, Russian-Turkish negotiations failed & #SAA restarted the offensive by opening three axis S. #Idlib, S. #Aleppo & its city.
12 days before the restart of military advances #SAA had already liberated Maarrat al-Numan town & big parts of S. #Idlib countryside. However, the advance didn't stop & one week later #SAA liberated another stronghold, Saraqib, reaching M4 highway & joining with S. #Aleppo axis.
Read 16 tweets
1. @POTUS @RealDonaldTrump @SecPompeo & @robertcobrien green-lighted a genocide against #Christians #Ezidi & #Kurds in #NSyria. They clearly advanced #ISIS' strategic goal. They could stop what Turkey is doing but, choose to permit it. @FBIWFO @SecretService @StateDeptDSS
2. What's the one crime @POTUS can't pardon beside impeachment? #Genocide. We agreed to it as part of the #Nuremberg agreement at the #UN's formation. Don't be dopes. Stop the genocide. Do yourselves a big favor. @GenFlynn
3. Michael Rubin commented on the CAATSA sanctions and though he notes Erdogan is a logical target of the sanctions he confirms my view that the sanctions will make Turkey too toxic foreign-based investment.
Read 6 tweets
La politique monétaire de la #BCE a un double impact :
1/ elle "aide" l'État, les entreprises, et les ménages, à s'enfoncer encore plus dans les dettes
2/ elle enrichit les possédants grâce à la hausse de la bourse et de l'immobilier.

Les uns s'enfoncent, les autres s'envolent. Image
Jadis, les riches s'endettaient pour décupler leurs profits (effet de levier) ; les pauvres s'endettaient contre leur futur labeur pour consommer, et rendre les riches plus riches.
Aujourd'hui, la #BCE ne fait que maintenir cet ordre ancien ; pire, elle l'aggrave ! Image
Et si vous avez le malheur de ne pas travailler assez pour rembourser vos dettes, voilà ce qu'il vous attend.
#SDF Image
Read 4 tweets
1. Syria can be saved. But #Turkey's maligned influence in #Syria and the region must end. We can end the fighting in #Idlib by making it a #semiautonomous region. An #SDF force comprised of mostly of #SunniArabs but with Christians #Ezidis & Kurds can bring peace in the north
2. and in #Idlib with US air and #logistic support. Let #Assad stay if he wins a free and fair election. Otherwise, the #Alawite 17% minority dictatorial rule will end. Remember: #SDF protected #Daesh from harm when they surrendered on the Eastern Euphrates.
3. SDF can work as they do now with the Govt. forces if the shared goals are peace, secular and gender equality under a democratic Constitution. Other than unrepentant #Daesh and Al-#Qaeda who will likely flee to Turkey to continue #Jihad with continued support of Erdogan regime,
Read 6 tweets
All 27 Americans who joined #ISIS in #Syria & #Iraq - and survived - are back in the US according to @TheJusticeDept

10 adults have been charged with crimes

2 others -children when they were taken to #ISIS- face no charges

The other 15 are kids...…
NEW: @SecPompeo commends #Italy for repatriating an Italian ISIS supporter from #Syria, along with 4 children Image
These are the 10 Americans, per @TheJusticeDept, repatriated by the US to face charges in connection with their support for #ISIS...

But they are not the only Americans facing charges for working with ISIS & the group's self-declared caliphate Image
Read 7 tweets

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