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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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A group calling itself "The Committee of Peaceful movement in #Raqqa" called for a peaceful uprising against the Kurdish-led #SDF. The statement demanded the Syrian Democratic Forces to leave the city and hand it over to its people.
Clashes have broken out between the “#Raqqa Revolutionary Brigade” and the Kurdish-led #SDF in the northern suburbs of Raqqa, northern #Syria.
The Kurdish #YPG component of the #SDF have besieged the HQ of the #FSA “Raqqa Revolutionaries Brigade” and clashed with them at several points. They have called upon the people of #Raqqa to go out and demonstrate immediately against these militias and their actions.
Read 6 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
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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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@LizSly does not accurately state what Assad said. Readers must be careful to note that Assad never said America "will be expelled by force". These are the words of Liz and not Assad (hence they don't have quotation marks). The use of force wording was directed at #SDF ==> More=>
2-Assad: If the first option of negotiations with #SDF does not work, "we are going to resort to liberating those areas by force. With Americans or without Americans, We don't have any other option. This is our land. It is our right. it is out duty to liberate" ==>
3-Assad: “The Americans should leave, somehow they're going to leave. They came to Iraq with no legal basis, and look what happened to them. They have to learn the lesson. Iraq is no exception, and Syria is no exception. People will not accept foreigners in this region anymore”=>
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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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BREAKING: The White House has said that US President #Trump is canceling his upcoming South America trip to remain in the US "to oversee the American response to Syria." - @NBCNews
This sounds like the US is planning to strike #Syria and Trump will remain in the US to closely monitor responses by #Russia. This is terrible.
BREAKING - British forces are now mobilizing at their bases in #Cyprus for strikes against #Syria. It appears very likely that the US, France and U.K. will strike Syria in the next 24 hours. This is dreadful.
Read 182 tweets
The logic driving this “humanitarian” narrative is riddled with inaccuracies & contradiction.

1. @MaxBoot says we should “let #Assad win,” but that at the same time, the U.S. should “stand with” the #SDF in 25% of #Syria (the northeast) -- how does that work, exactly?
2. The author also says U.S should “cut a deal” w. #Erdogan, in which “the #YPG will sever all support for the #PKK” … [despite the vast majority of #PYD/YPG leadership being long-time PKK/KCK veterans.]

Speak to anyone who regularly visits #SDF in NE - PKK calls the shots.
3. The author also links recent pictures of #Aleppo’s public park to compare “2016 charnel house” to 2018 "civilians strolling through its rebuilt public park.”

Except the park sat in regime-held territory & was barely touched in 4yrs of war. How does conquered east Aleppo look?
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#Iran / #Syria Thread: Key to understanding this topic is to appreciate how perceptions matter just as much reality. Similarly, the political angle of this topic also matters just as much, if not more, than the empirical & Intel-based facts related to this subject matter =>
2-As early as Dec 2016, some of us warned here (see thread below) that @realDonaldTrump Admin was likely to take an anti-Iran tilt & make it a pillar of its regional strategy. The Admin was also expected to be more Pro-Israel than its predecessors. Both turned out to be right =>
3-In order to understand what the U.S. is currently doing in #Syria , one needs to understand what the U.S. couldn't possibly do politically once the mission of ISIS's "annihilation" was complete. So, why didn't @realDonaldTrump do his own "mission accomplished" and leave? =>
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#SRO| IMPORTANT - #US seems to consider that Euphrates limit agreement (between #SDF and regime) must be applied completely : under aircover, #Deir_Ezzor military council took over Tabiyah from regime. First time #USAF giving air support for an offensive against regime (1).
#SRO | IMPORTANT - By taking over Tabiyah, #SDF now only 15 km east to #DeZ gates. #Deir_Ezzor military council always considered all areas north and east to Deir Ezzor are parts of their own legitimacy to govern. But very strange move as #US giving them support for these claims.
#SRO| IMPORTANT - Main problem is that #Deir_Ezzor Military Council (#SDF backed and linked) also consider... #Deir_Ezzor city as part of their areas to govern... But #US will never accept a complete war about Deir Ezzor. They want to show they can help but not so much...
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I agree with @MoonofA, something is not adding up that the #US is telling the world.
It seems possible pro-SAA militias/Wagner made a deal with Arab elements of #SDF to swap control of Conoco field.
I personally think #US did not lay trap..
moonofalabama.org/2018/02/syria-…
I think #US was actually unaware until late that Arab elements want to be under Syrian flag again (not unthinkable, Tribal fighters of same tribes are under #SAA and #SDF flags).
US had no idea deal was made, until militias/Wagner start to move to Conoco.
This would explain why militias/Wagner was moving in without any airsupport or anti-air cover: they asumed all was arranged for safe passage to Conoco.
Note that Conoco also had some Russian mediators stationed there just after #SDF had captured it.
Read 5 tweets
#SRO - What happened in Kusham area is the first real and strong #US action to protect its interests, the #SDF and its military advisors... Be sure this will reinforce #SDF recuitment policy and popularity... (1)
#SRO - Since weeks, as #Afrin offensive began and since #US administration thretened to cut support of clashes against #Turkey, recruitment for #SDF ranks was decreasing seriously (it was clear for #Raqqa governorate and #Manbij area) (2).
#SRO - #US intervention to strike a regime offensive, killing dozens and destroying dozen tanks, isn't about to erase #US stance on #Afrin, but population in Northern Federation to consider their ally with another point of view : yes, #US can be a good ally when needed... (END).
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Yo #Twitter ! Je vais prendre un peu de temps pour te parler de la polémique #Celio et de son traitement médiatique.

Les faits : une photo de vêtements déchirés, accrochés à la grille du magasin de #Rouen (Mon article sur @76actu : actu.fr/normandie/roue…)

C'est parti #thread👇
Le déclencheur, c'est une publication #Facebook : la fameuse photo, partagée plus de 17 000 fois.

Et pour cause : la photographe de #Rouen accuse #Celio de jeter "ses invendus" plutôt que de les donner à des #SDF.

L'émotion immédiate parle, normal. Mais sans preuve.
C'est là que le travail du journaliste commence. Il faut vérifier pourquoi #Celio découperait et balancerait des vêtements mettables à la benne.

Il suffit d'aller à la boutique à l'ouverture pour avoir une explication : "Ce sont des vêtements impropres à la vente ou au don."
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#SRO - #YPG and #YPJ are showing impressive resistance at #Afrin borders. Pro-#Turkey activists recognizing it. Note Jaysh al-Thuwar and #SDF #FSAare still stationned at #Tal_Rifaat and Shahbah frontlines, so, not involved (1).
#SRO - #YPG and #YPJ had years to prepare themselves to this expected move by #Turkey. But if we note the #YPG resistance is strong, yes, the #Syria'n mostly turkmen factions are also so... weak. Without #Turkey Leopard and airstrikes, no advances (2).
#SRO - #Turkey don't want to involve its own forces at frontlines, still keeping them at borders (only tanks crews are killed for now) but it will be forced to. The fact is that their turkmen suppletives are showing no capacity to lead the fight (3).
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1.@Evan_McMullin. #Pompeo discussed terrorism w/SVR GRU & FSB? Trump betrayed US #Kurdish allies #SDF for Putin & Assad. My CIA FOIA. We betrayed folks who defeated #ISIS & allows #Erdogan to slaughter #Afrin #Kurds. So far. #SDF @FoxNews @francesmartel @OIRSpox @FBIHonolulu @CIA
2. To explain, the Wayback captured the @CIA page about #Syria where there were no domestic terrorist listed on January 28, 2018. Ex A. I concede that a story I read yesterday, that I will search for to give accreditation, found this. As you can see, Ex B shows added PYD entry.
3. Here's Thurs DOD presser. At 3:34 and later 6:31 discussions of Afrin. At 27:42 AA reported says rockets fired in then the general says "if the PKK attacks Turkey." There are no PKK in Turkey. He must know that. We need to say if PYD, SDF YPG and/or YPG are or aren't listed.
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The #SDF had denied Turkish reports that the border town of #Reyhanlı was shelled by #YPG, stating two days ago: "We have nothing to do in shelling [of Reyhanlı] civilian settlements. We never target the territory outside of our borders."
#Afrin fact thread of before Turkey's 'Operation Olive Branch'

This is Afrin on July 2017, the biggest pro-#SDF rally which was carried out against #Turkish assaults on the canton. Arab tribal leaders also joined.
On the other hand, the Yazidi Union in the #Afrin Canton had declared their 'endless' support for the Northern Syria Federation Project. #Yazidis inhabit 21 villages in the area of Turkey's operation led with the FSA. @YazdaOrg raised risks of ethnic cleansing and persecution.
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1. Afrin Syria Saturday am 20 Jan. I can't confirm this report but it would not surprise me. I've followed the #YPG & #YPJ since Fall 2014. I note equipment changes Kept count of force size. Posted dozens of clips of every @CJTFOIR presser on my YouTube channel. Afrin
2. Afrin was always a black box. I saw what appeared to be US small arms with Afrin YPG in contrast to the SDF forces in the rest of Syria. Possible they were beneficiaries of CIA Train & Equip debacle. Won't report estimates of force size but by 2016 it was already large.
3. One thing I observed starting in #Kobane and continuing on uninterrupted is when #Kurds capture weapons and arms they police it up, inventory it and put it to use. Neat rows of weapons and ammo. Documented each time with video and photos. I've seen many dozens of such posts.
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#Afrin Offensive about to oppose:
- Turkish Army (#TSK) & National Army (ex-#EuphratesShield, mainly #FSA)
- People/Women's Protection Units (#YPG/J) + allies & #Syria|n Democratic Forces (#SDF)
#Afrin Offensive: following weeks of #TSK reinforcements near border with #Syria but also in Syria itself (N. #Aleppo & N. #Idlib), #FSA-led National Army started also to mobilize. Multiple convoys moving.
#Pt. National Army (incl. #FSA 23rd Division) preparing for #Afrin Offensive (#AfrinOp) near border with #Turkey.
Read 243 tweets
We started a new year (I hope the last) of the Syrian civil war. But 2017 has been the most important year & the result of inflection point of the war in 2016 with many political & military developments : (1)
The first military operation of #SAA was Wadi Bara (23/12/2016 - 29/1/2017) which finished with the evacuation of rebels from Wadi Barada & the North montainous area in the border with Lebanon. At the same time other forces advanced in E.Ghouta reaching some parts of Hazrama (2)
#SDF started the second phase of #WrathOfEuphrates operation on December securing the West flank of #Raqqa plains (3)
Read 47 tweets
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