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Dominic | دومينيك @domihol
, 16 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
... #Idlib ?
As I wrote before - I hope a "dirty deal" can achieve what Syria's government needs right now: secure, open roads and control of borders.
... clearly the propaganda war on Idlib is on:
1st there's a Western social media "pro-Syria space" that hopes to create as much hate for whoever is still living there and therefore panders heavily to Western islamophobes by showing lots of veiled women ...
... Russia too has decided to use its kinda "official" channels to create as much dislike of the inhabitants of Idlib as possible ... here Idlib is now a "den" - not a province of Syria with ordinary Syrians ALSO still living there and having to make do - "terrorists" or not ...
... on the opposite side of a propaganda war that IMO is mindlessly stupid ON BOTH SIDES - we also find "analysts" and "journalists" - explaining Idlib as a functioning alternative Syria ... and perhaps trying to win over Europe's xenophobes by conjuring up the "refugee" meme ...
... the big gun on a looming propaganda battle over Syria's Idlib is of course big media ... both in the Gulf and in the West ... as the experience of Aleppo has shown - Idlib could be another bloodbath - certainly on Twitter.
... and in reality?
Well - Idlib certainly has the potential to be a bloody battle in a Syria that has known many such battles ... but are there alternatives?
... I always call Syria a "US war" - but specifically in Idlib and with a current fight with Turkey - the USA might only be part of the solution. Even so - TRUMP might prefer the chaos to continue as long as possible. But there's always hope, of course ...
... enter Turkey ... and look how wrong I was then ... but wars aren't easy to predict. Today Turkey controls a big slice of Syria - and when I say "control" I mean control ... "rebels" are there and so is al-Qaeda ... not a good look for a "NATO partner".
... propaganda-wise - Turkey tries to make sure now that the world realises that Syria's "rebels" and Idlib's population are on the same page as Ankara and that Turkish help is more than welcome ...
... and while Russia is reportedly taking to Syria's skies to bomb Idlib ... Turkey's social media voices shows Turkish air defence in Idlib ... the threat of world war 3 - again? ... I doubt it.
RECONCILIATION
... is the magic word ... Syria has a ministry for it - Russia is pushing like crazy for it and offers to mediate between Damascus and warlords - but is reconciliation possible in Idlib? Yes - "rebels" usually "reconcile" when "it's over."
... and it might be also what the USA wants ... Idlib is in TRUMP's waste paper basket - for that I'm (almost) sure ... IMO - he has other plans for Syria ...
IMO - all the USA can do now over Idlib is try to re-write the story of their "rebels" and White Helmets and various NGOs and "activists" ... and hope that THAT will block some of Russia's increasingly successful narrative that they are all "terrorists".
... but indeed there are TERRORISTS in Syria's Idlib - defined as such by the UN Security Council - defined as TERRORISTS for the purposes of International Law - binding us all ...
IMO, the conflicting stories on Idlib of "looming attacks" by Damascus & Moscow, "defences" by NATO state Turkey, "aid deliveries" by the mighty USA - may just be a tug-of-war to facilitate or block reconciliation with some of Syria's fiercest "rebels".
... reconciliation also shows that while Syria's "rebels" have been motivated by a number of things - they have largely not been motivated by unsurpassable political believes. Some Western "commentators" are angry - because they see a narrative crumble - right now - in real time.
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