EHSANI2 Profile picture
Feb 15, 2018 19 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
#Iran / #Syria Thread: Key to understanding this topic is to appreciate how perceptions matter just as much reality. Similarly, the political angle of this topic also matters just as much, if not more, than the empirical & Intel-based facts related to this subject matter =>
2-As early as Dec 2016, some of us warned here (see thread below) that @realDonaldTrump Admin was likely to take an anti-Iran tilt & make it a pillar of its regional strategy. The Admin was also expected to be more Pro-Israel than its predecessors. Both turned out to be right =>
3-In order to understand what the U.S. is currently doing in #Syria , one needs to understand what the U.S. couldn't possibly do politically once the mission of ISIS's "annihilation" was complete. So, why didn't @realDonaldTrump do his own "mission accomplished" and leave? =>
4-@realDonaldTrump couldn't leave Syria after the defeat of ISIS because he would have been accused by both #Israel & the Hawks in Washington of handing Syria to Iran & Russia . Surely, something had to be done to avoid this disastrous outcome the expert/hawks/allies warned =>
5-The plan started to take shape by first picking the Kurds #SDF as the partner to defeat ISIS. Once the group was defeated, the US was expected to stay to engage in "stabilization"and "not occupation or nation building" of Syria's North East.
6-Once ISIS was defeated, it was critical to go on a full "Iran-corridors" warning to justify keeping the US troops in Syria. Indeed, from that point on, observers have been bombarded by IRAN-IS-TAKING-OVER-SYRIA-WARNINGS almost on a daily basis
7-We have been told that Iran is building missile factories in Syria. Iran is also establishing an open highway (corridor) from Tehran all the way to Beirut without even a Stop sign on the way. If that was not enough, Iran was also building ports and taking over the Golan area
8-Many Washington-based Think Tanks jumped in with their own facts and figures - Iran had 150,000 different militias and troops in Syria we were told. To date, NOT A SINGLE CREDIBLE OR FACTUAL INTEL has been added to the above Iranian cocktail mix
9-Short Recap: The Syrian leadership was at its lowest point in 2012. Early that year, it reached out to the Opp offering a set of proposals to negotiate a halt to the crisis. Damascus warned that if its offer was not taken, it will have no option but to "call its big allies".
10- When the Opp rebuffed the offer put on the table by Damascus, the Syrian leadership first let Hizbollah in (Qusair battle). When it came to Iran, Assad did not have to twist Tehran's arms to come to his help ==>
11-Just few Jays ago (Feb 11), the Iranian Ambassador in Damascus gave an interview where he reiterated how his country "highly appreciated Syria’s support to Iran in the 1980s stressing that Iran will stand by Syria" till the end. =>
12-Iran therefore wanted to repay Syria for its support in 1980's. But, Iran may indeed have also calculated (as feared by Israel/US/others) that this was a chance for Tehran to spread its wings and expand its influence in Syria & hence the region.
13-For 7 years now, one of the inexplicable misses by many observers & policy makers has been to not take notice of the fact that there is a strong positive correlation between the undermining and weakening of the Syrian State and the growing role of Iran or Russia in the country
14-Another gaping misunderstanding of the Syrian leadership is how seriously it protects its sovereignty and independence in its decision making. So many agreements & deals made between UN/Russians/Iranians have gone nowhere without Damascus's blessing or support
15-Talk that Iran is building ports or military bases near Israel's border totally miss the fact that Damascus is the first party that would resist such steps. Why would Assad give Israel/US a reason to open a new front in this war? That would be highly irrational on his part
16-Rather than an irrational Assad, what you have here is a concerted effort to use "perceptions and politics" at the expense of "empirical intel work" to ascertain the factual nature of Iran's military posture in Syria.
17-Remember that without hyping Iran's role in Syria, there would be no credible justification for the US to stay in Syria after defeat of ISIS. Israel is super risk-averse when it comes to anything to do with Iran. This is why it will plead with @realDonaldTrump to stay in Syria
18-For its part, Washington feels it has a good trade on. With a mere 2500 US Army personnel and having helped the Kurds grab Syria's oil, the U.S feels that it can't be accused of having lost the leverage it needs to be an important arbiter and player in the Syrian conflict
19-Exaggearating Iran's influence & its role in Syria can be viewed as part & parcel of US's Syria policy. For without it, the rationale of this policy would be on a weaker footing. Israel, Washington & Riyadh are likely to use the Iran-is-taking-over-SYRIA for long time to come

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with EHSANI2

EHSANI2 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @EHSANI22

Sep 18, 2018
Thread on status of Syrian Opposition post the "demilitarized zone" agreement in #Idlib . Thus far, most commentary has regarded the deal as a win for the Opp since risk of imminent strike on the province has been avoided. But is this deal really a positive for opp? Answer: No=>
2-Let's step back first. This is an Opp that was formed with goal of toppling the State (diplomatic language of Geneva process called it political transition). Nothing short of above was acceptable to this opp. As of yesterday, mere avoidance of strikes is now seen as a win
3-Let's not also forget that from early days of Geneva's political transition talks, the only political activity left now is an attempt to establish constitutional committee. All else has been shelved. Now that we established the general status of the opp, let's discuss this deal
Read 7 tweets
Sep 17, 2018
Thread listing Preliminary observations on the announcement of the “Demilitarized Zone” in #Idlib today: What does it mean for Turkey, Russia, Damascus and the armed groups? What is the likely risk/reward calculus for each party? What should we expect going forward? ===>
2– Let’s recap what we seem to know first: A zone 9-12 miles long would be established by Oct. 15. It would contain no heavy weapons or extreme elements of the insurgency (al-Qaeda-linked militants). It would be be patrolled by Turkish and Russian forces
3-First critical point to note is whether this deal will end up securing the highway that passes through Idlib and links the north and south of the country under Govt control together. This was of course one of the strategic aims of Damascus from any #Idlib operation
Read 12 tweets
Sep 17, 2018
For the record, while everyone seems to believe that the number of civilians in #Idlib is close to 3 million, a Damascus source who has been very prescient in the past believes that the actual number may not exceed 1 million.
2-To suggest that 3 Million civilians live in #Idlib is to suggest:

A-That pre-war housing stock & other infrastructure was able to accommodate double the pre-war population

B-Moreover, safe to assume both housing & infrastructure now nowhere near pre-war conditions/capacity
3-In effect, for #Idlib to host 3 Million now compared to 1.2-1.5 pre-war is to assume either a building boom (not war) or construction of massive camps that would host such massive numbers. Yet to see credible images of such camps or investments in the housing stock
Read 6 tweets
Sep 11, 2018
Erdogan in an op-ed in @WSJ :

“Moderate rebels played a key role in Turkey’s fight against terrorists in Northern #Syria; their assistance and guidance will be crucial in Idlib as well”
2-Erdogan: “Preventing the assault on #Idlib need not set back counter-terrorism efforts. Turkey has succeeded in fighting terrorist groups, including ISIS and the PKK, without harming or displacing civilians”

Notice how he doesn’t include Nusra /al-Qaeda in above group
3- Erdogan: “Turkey’s ability to maintain order in Northern #Syria is proof that a responsible approach to counter-terrorism can win hearts and minds”
Read 7 tweets
Sep 9, 2018
In order to truly understand the dynamic inside the #Syrian Armed Opposition, one must start to look into the ever closer marriage between the the Moslem Brotherhood and Nusra / al-Qaeda. Both have been joined at the hip through the sponsorship & support of #Qatar #Turkey ==>
2-Moslem Brotherhood (MB) lost its original military wing during the battle with the Syrian State in the 80’s. Best to think of Nusra/HTS/al-Qaeda in #Syria today as the new military wing of the M Brotherhood. One is the brain, the other represents arms & legs of the same body
3-The coordination between MB & Nusra/HTS/al-Qaeda has afforded the latter the chance to transform itself from non-state actor that had been hiding in the mountains of Afghanistan to an outfit with clear lines of communications to regional capitals that are supporting the MB
Read 16 tweets
Sep 7, 2018
1-Set below is a short thread summarizing some of exchange w this Tajik Muhajir (Foreign Fighter)

Q: How did you come to Bilad al-Sham [Syria]?
A: I heard the Muslims in al-Sham were oppressed. I made hijra [migration] to help them.

Q: All the factions in Syria are oppressors?
A: God knows best. They love money.
Q: So you thought there were jihad and defending Islam, but it's not like that on the ground?
A: Yes. Most of them declare takfir on whoever they like.

Q: Currently you are not with any faction?
A: No. They are all liars. They say what they do not do.
Q: There are people who say that jihad must continue in Syria. What do you say to these people?
A: If there are no honest factions. With whom [do you wage] jihad?

Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

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

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

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

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!