#Putin's opening to this press conference suggests the takeover of southern #Syria by Asad/Iran is a model of U.S.-Russia cooperation that should be expanded, and flatters Trump that his summit with Kim [which Putin very much liked the look of] resolved the Korean Peninsula.
On #Ukraine, Putin hints broadly that the U.S. agrees with him that Kyiv's intransigence prevented Minsk's implementation, and then carefully lets it be known Trump brought up the election meddling, an assist to Trump politically, before of course dismissing it.
Trump frames engagement around U.S.-Russian co-operation in WW2, notes that unfortunate Cold War business, then says: "Our relationship has never been worse ... that changed as of about four hours ago." Says he is being politically brave to do what's right. Lambastes media + Dems
#Iran's thoughts during #HelsinkiSummit2018
"We spent billions in Syria. Received all the condemnations. Heard all the criticism. Lost hundreds of our senior officers & suffered thousands of casualties among our #IRGC... And now others are deciding about the future..."
3. #Putin & #Trump will be meet face-to-face around noon (1pm #Moscow time). The leaders have at least 3 hours scheduled for themselves after which they will proceed to another room for working lunch in a broader format with ministers and advisers.
Legal basis behind US presence in #Syria is seldom discussed. Both Obama & Trump Admin have argued that the US was acting in national and collective self-defense (against ISIS/AQ). However, there is another critical doctrine made along with the above to justify this presence ===>
2-The Legal doctrine argues that the US as “victim state” can use force in self defense against non-state actors (ISIS) as long it determines that the “territorial state” (#Syria) is “UNABLE OR UNWILLING” to effectively address the threat posed by the non-state actors
3-While such doctrine was used in 2014, there has since been no reassessment whether #Syria , as a territorial state is still “Unable or Unwilling” to fight these non-state actors, particularly since Damascus’s Russian ally entered the war since then as direct military combatant
Important article... @ejmalrai ‘s exclusive reveals content of #US message conveyed via #Russia to #Syria.
1-The US will leave #Syria. 2- Let the Kurds continue negotiations with Damascus. 3- The US establishment will recognise Assad’s authority over Syria..
But Iran must leave.
.2/ #Assad’s response: #US came to #Syria uninvited and it’s presence is illegal.
Syria’s duty is to push it out by all means. #US shall not obtain by negotiation what it failed to obtain in seven years of war.
.3/ Assad & his allies see a US-French-UK withdrawal as an achievement & their eventual withdrawal a necessity, once Syria is no longer in need of their help.
Assad conveyed to US, Iran not interested in remaining once mission of terminating “terrorist” threat is accomplished.
Thread: Hafez Assad, son of President Assad just participated at Math Olympiad in Romania. He ranked 486th out of 615 contenders from 116 countries. Assad got 2 points for the 1st problem & 1 point for the 5th,for a score of 3 points. Please see the questions & comments next ==>
2-The 3 points scored by Assad this year placed him last out of the 6 Syrians on his team. In 2016 in Hong Kong, he came 4th, with 13 points, while in 2017 in Rio/Brazil he also came last in his team but he got 7 points. Regrettably, many in opp are making fun of his performance
3-Here is a fun challenge: Anyone making fun of the 16 year-old Assad’s math score at the Olympiad ought to be able to answer the questions himself first. I will attach them here first 👇both in both English and Arabic
"It's time to put the myth of 'separating Russia from Iran' to rest. The evidence shows that Russia and Iran are fast allies, and are more likely to remain so than to separate." Great piece by Shlomo Bolts. jpost.com/Opinion/The-my…
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.
The need for our new report and recommendations therein is best summed up two maps indicating today's developments in #Syria:
It's a few hours after Putin & Netanyahu met in #Moscow to discuss the removal of #Iran from #Syria. #Israel responded to the UAV that crossed into its airspace from Syria with strikes at 3 military posts near its border.
Interesting thoughts by #Russia Defense Minister Shoigu in his interview to Italy's Il Giornale days into #Putin@realDonaldTrump summit:
1."Since US lawmakers experts been calling on #US gov to clarify its #Syria strategy,our country not the only one who does not get it"
2."If there's some basis for #US actions in #Syria,it is too contradictory to be called a strategy.I'd like to recall that initially,it was about defeating #ISIS,then about preventing re-emergence of IS&now to preserve mil presence in to deter #Iran’s alleged influence"
3."One cant help thinking that #US chief objective in #Syria is to prevent situation from stabilizing,prolong the conflict,undermine SYR territorial integrity by creating enclaves not controlled by the gov in Syria’s remote regions.Oppstn received training in US-controlled areas"
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.
NEW on coming #Putin@realDonaldTrump summit: (2nd THREAD) 1. In recent days #Moscow passed a two-page document to #Washington that should serve as a basis/draft for a bilateral communique the two Presidents should present after the #Helsinki talks.
2. According to #Rus sources #US accepted the paper but insisted an issue of "#Russia/n interference into American elections in 2016" is mentioned with due guarantees that this doesn't happen again.
3. Other statements on paper allegedly include themes of"sustaining dialogue b/n #Russia/n, #US officials,diplomats,military&security services" as well as development of economic ties,promotion of people-to-people contacts.Bilateral coop called one of factors for global stability
<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
Time has come for the serious confrontation with #ISIS "soldiers of the Caliphate" in Quneitra (Jaish Khaled bin al Waleed) bordering the occupied Golan heights as the Syrian Army, Hezbollah & allies reached the territory occupied by the group as part of south #Syria liberation.
#Damascus soldiers & allies are aware of the necessity of this inevitable battle that is supposed to begin as soon as the preparation of attack from different fronts is completed. This can be achieved when more territories under Nusra and FSA are cleared.
The Syrian Army agreed with the Russian suggesting to ship all Syrians refusing to reconcile with the government to #Idlib: green busses (or whatever colour it is going to be) are prepared to go to #Daraa#Syria.
Over 100 busses are reaching #Daraa to carry over 1500 Jabhat al-Nusra aka Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and their families who rather stay under Turkish control the north of #Syria.
The #Damascus-Amman road is clear and safe now and Naseeb crossing is expected to reopen soon.
Syrian Army is clearing up east of #Daraa where the Russian Military police is tasking position.
The enormous quantity of weapons recovered by the Syrian army is filling up the army's warehouses, thanks to Arab and the west generous donations to Jihadists