The U.S.'s proposal for an accord with #Russia over #Syria, the purpose of which is to get #Iran out, is broadly known from reporting. Folks familiar with the Syria policy discussions clarified some details. <Thread below>
As an aside: the Syria policy seems to have been taken away from the State Department, wholly into the White House, specifically into the hands of John Bolton, in the run-up to this summit with Putin.
The U.S. will propose:
- Withdrawal of #Iran's personnel (inc. #Hizballah) from Syria, *not* in a "phased" manner but as Stage One of the process;
- After six months, with verification Iran is gone, the U.S. will shut down its bases, not just Tanf, all in the SDF/PKK area
If this reciprocal withdrawal, Iran then the U.S., from #Syria comes off, the U.S. will accept the legitimacy of #Russia's forces remaining to support Asad, though the U.S. will not de jure accept Asad and will retain the ban on reconstruction money going to regime-held areas.
#Jordan is said to be opposed to this "Bolton Plan" for #Iran's total withdrawal from #Syria, seeing it as too strenuous. Amman was [and is] prepared to accept the #Russia-McGurk/Satterfield proposal that would keep #IRGC out of a 45 km buffer around Tanf.
#Israel is annoyed with the Jordanians for accepting #Russia's proposal, and Amman is annoyed with the Israelis for rejecting it. Jerusalem hasn't weighed in yet on the Bolton Plan itself.
Re the chances of #Russia being willing/able to get #Iran out of southern #Syria: here is a Russian military officer embracing commander from Liwa Abu Fadl al-Abbas, a component militia of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, in Da'el, Deraa. Doesn't seem like an eviction.
Potentially interesting, as U.S. seems headed out of #Syria, on a #YPG/#PKK agreement with the #Asad/#Iran system.

(Not unprecedented. E.g. in the long years the PKK was Asad's proxy against #Turkey, Kurds serving in its ranks were counted as if they had done military service.)
So it's confirmed: the Syria team on the NSC has been cleared out. John Bolton has taken on the file, and is bringing in his own people. thenational.ae/world/the-amer…

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More from @KyleWOrton

Sep 9, 2018
A U.S. diplomat met three times with military officers in #Venezuela plotting a coup against Nicolas Maduro; he refused to give the officers even an indication of support, let alone the communications devices they needed to bring off their conspiracy. nyti.ms/2QfP2G2
Some saw #Venezuela's military as a means of stabilizing the situation, allowing practical things like aid deliveries. Others "saw considerable risk in building bridges with leaders of a military that...ha[ve] become a pillar of the cocaine trade and human rights abuses." #pt
There's nothing to complain about in the U.S. gathering intelligence by establishing communications with mutinous officers in #Venezuela. The question is whether Maduro is considered a threat: if he is, then do what's necessary to bring him down. If not, leave it for Venezuelans.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 5, 2018
More details on the schism between the Hazimis and lesser-extremists in #IS: Abu Anisa al-Dagestani, an Azeri commanded and Hazimi, blames the caliph's insufficiently stern position on takfir for the loss of land and men last year. chechensinsyria.com/?p=26129
According to Abu Anisa al-Dagestani, the caliph reversed the May 2017 expansion by the Delegated Committee of the takfir ruling after his wife had a dream in which Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, and Abu Muhammad al-Furqan came to his house and ignored him. #pt
The caliph reversed the May 2017 takfir ruling by a deft institutional manoeuvre: he invited its author, Ismail al-Ithawi (Abu Zayd al-Iraqi), to a meeting in August 2017 and threatened to kill him if he didn't reverse himself. #pt
Read 5 tweets
Sep 4, 2018
If true, would seal the case for getting rid of Mattis.
Whatever the truth of Woodward's stuff, Mattis used his influence in April to work Trump down from a strike package that would have targeted the Asad regime itself and also killed some of the Russian and Iranian forces that abet its criminality. This was a disastrous mistake.
This is the reaction you want a Western leader to have:

After Assad gassed the kids again in April 2017, Trump said: "Let's fucking kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the fucking lot of them."

Mattis blocked this response, and again this past April. washingtonpost.com/politics/bob-w…
Read 4 tweets
Aug 25, 2018
We mock Owen Jones for silence now #Venezuela has ended as socialism always does, but having just read a Leftist argument that #China's internment of Muslims is invented by USG fronts like @HRW, the "corporate media", and "reactionary" oppositionists, OJ's looking quite good.
As a side note: I simply do not know where to start with the accusation that @HRW has an "excessively disproportionate focus on designated enemies of Washington". Whatever criticisms of HRW one might have, that one seems completely delusional.
Amazing what one can learn from Western Leftists who are back to defending #China. For example, there is a species of "imprisoned hard-right neoconservative Chinese dissident". Naturally, he is also a "hardcore libertarian" at the same time. And fully deserves to be in the GULAG.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 21, 2018
21 August 1968: The Warsaw Pact [USSR, Bulgaria, GDR, Hungary, and Poland] invade Czechoslovakia, where a reformist leader had taken power in January and in April a reformist government took office, intent on "socialism with a human face". Moscow regarded this as a mortal threat.
Yuri Andropov, the KGB chief, advocated invading Czechoslovakia from early in the "crisis". The KGB made innovative use of Illegals, all of them posing as Westerners, to try to kidnap leading Czech reformists and to disseminate active measures to discredit the Prague Spring.
The KGB line was that "Rightists" and "imperialists" were preparing a coup in Czechoslovakia, hence the need for a preemptive invasion. Stories of American arms caches were disseminated. This despite solid information that the US had nothing to do with the Czech reformists.
Read 5 tweets
Aug 7, 2018
The #YPG/#PKK announces that its operatives have murdered Akash Ahmad Ali, a member of the ruling council in Efrin. #Syria nedaa-sy.com/en/news/7735
The #YPG/#PKK put out a video of its sleeper agents in the Efrin zone assassinating a member of Faylaq al-Sham in a drive-by shooting on 28 July. #Syria
The #YPG/#PKK also put out a video yesterday from the EUPHRATES SHIELD zone of its forces killing a rebel fighter, ostensibly a member of Ahrar al-Sham. #Syria
Read 4 tweets

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