@MEI_CTE@vera_mironov According to @vera_mironov's work, only a small minority of al-Hol residents genuinely support #ISIS - many others fake loyalty as a source of financial support (from #ISIS directly or foreign donors).
This drives many expressions of ultra radicalism or fake claims of attacks.
- "What #ISIS enforcement can we talk about, I feel like we're in #Europe here. Many females have sex with male camp workers... We constantly hear about 13-year-old boys having sex with girls or even try to rape other younger boys."
@hxhassan My understanding of events leading up to the all-out fight differs somewhat -- #HTS's arrest of Abu Saloh al-Uzbeki
& Abu Malik al-Talli were *very* inflammatory to HaD. Both were crucial sources of finance & external networks. Plus, they came amid several escalatory accusations:
@hxhassan 1. After Abu Saloh's arrest, rumor swirled that #Turkey's MIT had transferred messages from #Moscow to #HTS, requesting his extradition via #Ankara in exchange for political & economic rewards.
Abu Saloh is accused of coordinating multiple attacks in #Russia in recent yrs.
The intra-jihadi dynamic in #Idlib is rapidly intensifying, as #HTS is seeking to re-assert itself vis-a-vis (1) the opposition, (2) local civil society, (3) #Turkey & (4) increasingly exasperated #AlQaeda-leaning factions.
In doing so, it's revealing its multiple identities.
In recent weeks, we've seen escalatory events:
1. Khaled al-Aruri's death in a US drone strike
2. Formation of the #AlQaeda-leaning 'Stand Firm' ops room
3. #HTS arrest of:
- Sirajideen Makhtarov (Abu Saloh al-Uzbeki)
- Jamal Hassan Zayniya (Abu Malik al-Talli)
- Tauqir Sharif
Weeks ago, #HTS was attempting to [re-]build bridges with #Idlib civil society & now it's cracking down on divisive #AlQaeda loyalists & defecting critics.
#Turkey's #Erdogan produced a blistering speech today aimed [primarily] at #Assad, declaring that #Syria's aircraft would not be able to "move freely anymore" & that #TSK would "chase" Syrian forces out of the #Sochi-delineated borders.
Taking a brief foray back to Twitter to note the strategic significance of today's U.S. strikes on Kataib #Hezbollah in #Syria & #Iraq.
19 dead (incl. 3 #IRGC) & 35+ wounded is a major response by the U.S. - alike #Israel's retaliatory modus operandi - BUT note: U.S is exposed.
#pt: The U.S. government apparatus (esp. IC) has known for a long time - and feared - this scenario, whereby the death of an American would necessitate a serious response, which in turn would leave U.S. personnel in #Syria & especially #Iraq exposed to #IRGC counter-retaliation.
#pt: #IRGC-linked rocket attacks in #Iraq are hardly new, but the death of an American was.
Likewise, the death of 19+ KH fighters is new & a marked walk up the escalation ladder.
#Iran holds the cards now & re-escalation seems likely -- leaving #Trump in a position he fears.
#pt: And FWIW, using Aldar Khalil as the sole source to claim that the #PYD-#PKK relationship is solely defined by "intellectual lineage" & 'sympathy with one another's political goals' is analytically disingenuous.
#pt: If the #PYD's very own website (deleted - but archived - after teaming up with the U.S. military in 2014) wasn't enough, take the public assessments of U.S. government's dedicated National CounterTerrorism Center (part of the Intelligence Community):
Never has the self-suicide of #Syria's mainstream opposition been more clear than in recent days.
#Afrin was really bad, but this NE incursion (its manner; its consequences etc.) is truly beyond the pale -- in truth, what we've witnessed is a #Turkish campaign through-&-through.
It's clear now that the Dec 2016 loss of #Aleppo - in large part due to #Turkey selling it out to #Russia - was *the* turning point.
Opposition factions lost any sense of autonomy of action & over the years that followed, everyone but #JFS-#HTS & #AlQaeda existed *for* #Ankara.
An #American presence in NE #Syria kept at least some of this #Turkish ambition under wraps (just ), but #Trump's naive (or malicious?) "green light" decision after speaking with #Erdogan let everything loose.
Only now are we seeing the consequences -- and they're not yet clear.
There's now little question that #HTS no longer represents #AlQaeda.
It's clearly still an extremist movement, but signs continue to add up indicating that it's developing into something qualitatively different than the Jabhat al-Nusra of 2014-15 - a "Shami #Taliban," perhaps.
Most recently in the public space, #HTS issued a statement acknowledging its willingness to abide by an externally-negotiated (by #Turkey, #Iran & #Russia) ceasefire.
That was a first.
Its never happened before in #Syria & it's not a move any #AlQaeda affiliate would ever take.
The scale of the #SriLanka attacks is hard to fathom - 290 dead & 500+ wounded.
Target choice, scope, coordination & device success rate makes an international nexus here *highly* likely.
Both #ISIS & #AQIS have reported links w. Sri Lanka/ns, but no evidence yet links to this.
#pt: #SriLanka authorities have pinned initial blame on indigenous Islamist movement @ntjinfo, but I'd be amazed if they - or any similar local organization - had the capacity to conduct such a complex series of mass-casualty attacks.
The bomb-maker alone appears very adept.
@ntjinfo#pt: As @RobertPostings has revealed, one of the allegedly-identified #SriLanka suicide bombers, "Zahran Hashim," was an overt #ISIS supporter (as of late-2017), with a social media following of 4,000+.