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.
The final quibble with Dempsey is that his operating vision is to protect U.S. allies. Good idea.

But he means stay in east #Syria to guarantee #SDF/#PKK. And watch an utter catastrophe in Idlib that destabilises a far more important ally, #Turkey, and kills thousands.
If the idea is to protect allies: find a way to bring the two #NATO allies onto the same page to protect their areas inside #Syria, and then deal with the jihadist problem in Idlib in a manner that doesn't involve massacre and expulsion and the destabilisation of #Turkey.

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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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