, 27 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter

Turkey announces a proposal for repatriation of Syrian refugees & creation of a “safe zone” in northern Syria (in Kurdish areas)

Plan: 140 villages hosting 5,000 people; 10 districts with 30,000 population.

Population engineering if there was ever one.

Via @YusufErim79
Turkish President Erdogan seems to have sold to president Trump this plan (above), along with the promise to take over ISIS prisoners. It obviously ticks a few boxes for Trump

White House accepts that Turkey will invade the rest of northern Syria, and the US will stay out of it.
Amateurs in the SDF tried to be smart and threatened to release captured ISIS fighters. It was clear they could not do that, and Erdogan used that against them
A note on how Turkey’s new invasion of Syria is framed.

A huge deal no doubt, but it’s an extension of long-dragging US-Turkey negotiations on a Syria safe zone.

It is just on Turkey’s terms, after Erdogan cut through the red tape and offered Trump a deal he couldn’t refuse.
A few thoughts on this hugely significant development re the United States, Turkey and Syria.

Things are still not fully clear. Having said that, a Turkish invasion of a northeastern strip of Syria, that's almost game over for the US-backed SDF (currently in control of one third of #Syria, about the size of Indiana.)

This is also good timing for the Islamic State. Why:
Most of the areas currently under the #SDF are going through a very fragile transition.

At best, you could say it's work in progress against ISIS in those areas.

In reality, things have been falling apart under the surface lately.

The areas north of Raqqa+Hasaka are the Kurds' center of gravity, where much of their population is concentrated.

Once Turkey seized those areas, the rest (Deir Ezzor, southern Hasaka, Raqqa) will almost automatically fall under Turkey's influence. Not immediately obviously.
I know for a fact that the population and influential people will start visiting Turkey and asking for support. The other option is the regime, the worst option -- and locals can't rely on the US to protect their areas after this.
The US has once again proved unreliable. This is the third time the locals turn to the SDF, then turn away after #Trump makes similar announcements (May 2018, December 2018, and October 2019).
So even if the Turkey plan may be limited geographically, to the northern parts of Syria, it practically involves all of eastern Syria.
The Syrian regime may be not happy with Turkey's expansion there, but this scenario ticks a couple of boxes for Damascus:

It disrupts the US presence in eastern Syria, and Iran will be happy to see this unravelling at this critical juncture.

It also downsizes the Kurdish SDF.
Another big implication of this, which may or may not happen, is the unraveling of the Syrian conflict. Which has been largely kept under control, in terms of hostilities, lately.

I'm sure Turkey promised Russia something.
If a new insurgency erupts in eastern Syria, and the regime moves to take over Idlib, then we're talking about a new phase of chaos that will offer renewed opportunities for other insurgents. It won't be another 2012-2013, but it won't be 2018-2019 either.
Now, about ISIS...
A good way to think of the security implications of a Turkish takeover of SDF areas is (again) to consider what happened in Iraq after the Kurdish forces were driven out of Kirkuk in 2016.
The patterns for ISIS after Kirkuk were undeniable: change of hands enabled ISIS to exploit security gaps and ignite an insurgency there, which spilled over to nearby areas. That slightly faded with time, but the lessons should be obvious.
The SDF and its Western backers know the area relatively well by now.

Once the areas change hands, expect new recruits for ISIS (not because people hate Turkey more, but because of the sheer change in the security architecture)
More analysis of ISIS & how things stand in Syria these days (something I've been avoiding lately) soon, but to sum up for now:

#Turkey invasion will be probably welcomed by more people than we may have imagined. Those include regime elements, locals, and maybe even in the USG.
.. it'll also open new scenarios for the precarious and fragile situation in Syria, on multiple levels.
France is rightly unhappy with the US decision re Turkey's invasion of the SDF areas.

But that attitude will change if Turkey does take in ISIS fighters and deal with them on their behalf, in the same way they wanted Iraq to do. A state actor instead of a non-state actor.
Convoys of American military personnel began pulling back from the Syria-Turkey border, clearing the way for a Turkish offensive wsj.com/articles/u-s-b… via @WSJ
@WSJ Factual error here:

"Kurdish fighters ... have warned of all-out war with Turkey in northeastern Syria, where more than 70,000 Islamic State fighters and their families are held."

70,000 *including* ISIS fighters & their families.
@WSJ Lindsey Graham threatens bipartisan sanctions and NATO suspension if Turkey invades Syria and attacks Kurds washex.am/2ols86Y
Turkey has been able to play well with both the US & Russia in Syria. It's managed both powers in the northeastern and northwestern corners of Syria to its full advantage, and emerged a winner.

That was freshly after it purchased Russia's S-400, ,uch to the chagrin of the US.
Because countering Iran is now a fool’s errand, more than ever before. A huge setback in that regard:
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Hassan Hassan
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!