Couple of tweets re the Putin/Erdogan “demilitarisation” deal on #Idlib:
1. The Syrian regime army is depleted to the point of collapse. Without Russia/Hezbollah support they couldn’t advance against Turkish-backed and properly armed rebels…
2. A lot of hyperbole around about Idlib being controlled by al-Qaeda. This BBC explainer is quite good on the balance of forces there:… But need to add that Turkey & HTS are not friends - Turkey wants this deal for leverage against HTS, who it can’t contol
3. Important to remember that the 3 million civilian population of Idlib is highly motivated against the Assad regime, disloyal to HTS & other armed factions, and won’t blindly comply with Turkey’s plans.…
4. Past Putin/Erdogan deals haven’t worked out well for rebels & civilians. Idlib was supposed to be a “de-escalation zone”, yet the bombs continued.…
5. For Russia, this is all about geopolitics. They want to be friends with Erdogan, and pivot his government away from NATO/EU. A secure base on the Med and a client state in Damascus is Putin’s goal, not complete regime control of Syria.…
6. Assad can’t be seen to back down over Idlib. His territory is now a patchwork of fractious warlords and continuing the war is its only logic. Although a serious ground assault is beyond him, he won’t stop the bombs and chemical weapons.
Conclusion: Be optimistic there will be no imminent ground assault on Idlib; be less optimistic about end of aerial attacks on civilian targets.

For informed Syria commentary and voices from #Idlib follow these accounts:…
Sam Hamad in @The_NewArab on Russia's Idlib deal and the weaponisation of Syrian refugees…

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More from @bobfrombrockley

Sep 27, 2018
[thread] I'm a big fan of nationalised utilities, universal childcare, green jobs,worker share ownership & other policies unveiled at #Lab18
...but the whole thing has left a sour taste in my mouth. Here are some of the reasons why:
1/ The determination of part of the leadership to push Brexit, which will be disastrous for working class people:
Read 17 tweets
Aug 20, 2018
@Back2Bataan @DerbyChrisW Fair point, but based on a false premise. Let’s think it through – apologies if this takes a few tweets.

1/ Millions of us opposed the Iraq War, for a variety of reasons, while supporting Vanessa Beeley is a pretty fringe cause in the UK, confined mainly to the far right...
@Back2Bataan @DerbyChrisW 2/ Most of us opposed the Iraq war for good reasons: saw it as a war for oil, or opposed wars in general, or had an anti-interventionist default. Others opposed it coz they saw Saddam as objectively the good guy, out of admiration for his brand of authoritarian nationalism...
@Back2Bataan @DerbyChrisW ...Griffin was one of the latter, a pro-Baathist, and anyone on the left who shared that position should be suspect.

3/ Why does Griffin support Beeley? Because she shares many of his basic assumptions:
Read 6 tweets
Jul 26, 2018
A short thread in which I read Robert Fisk's latest appalling Syria report so you don't have to…
1/ Fisk has been saying the Syrian war is in its end stage for 5 years now. Now he's amped up the rhetoric, while pretending to be smarter...
2/ A bit sickening how Fisk rhapsodises about his friend the "poet" Brigadier General Suheil al-Hassan, without mentioning the fact that he’s a vicious war criminal…
Read 21 tweets
May 11, 2018
This is a thread on the Labour candidate selection for the upcoming #LewishamEast by-election (written by an embarrassingly inactive Lewisham Deptford party member)
Before getting to the candidates, a huge thank you to @Heidi_LDN for her years of excellent service to our community, as a Deptford councillor, Lewisham MP, battler to save Lewisham Hospital from Tory cuts, and Shadow Cabinet member.
So far, I believe five local candidates have put themselves forward for #LewishamEast Here they are, in alphabetical order:
Read 36 tweets
Apr 17, 2018
Robert Fisk's crimes against truth: three detailed case studies by @im_PULSE…
An evergreen blogpost by veteran Middle East reporter @Brian_Whit on Robert Fisk's comedy of errors, including some hilarious Arabic mistranslations…
Here's a good list of other articles exposing times when Robert Fisk was economical with the truth:
Read 8 tweets

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