#Russia's really going for it at UNSC today: Amb. Nebenzia going all-out tinfoil hat, contradicting himself in rapid time.

- In the space of seconds, he says (1) the #Douma incident was a false-flag chemical attack by rebels & then says (2) there was no chemical attack at all.
U.S. Amb. to UN @nikkihaley:

- I could hold up pictures of babies lying dead next to their mothers, in their diapers, all lying together, dead, ashen blue, open eyes & lifeless, white foam bubbling from their mouths & noses… the very definition of innocent, hiding in basements.
U.S. Amb. to UN @nikkihaley:

"Who does this? Only a monster does this… the monsters behind this have no conscience… the Russian regime is covered in the blood of innocent children.

#Russia & #Iran are to blame… [but] what’s the point in trying to shame these people?
U.S. Amb. to UN @nikkihaley ends her comments by saying that whatever the UNSC does in response to the #Assad regime's CW attack in #Douma, “the United States will respond.”

- Comes after x2 Principals Meetings in White House, studying possible military responses in #Syria.
IMPORTANT - #France’s UN Amb. @franceonu says #Russia aircraft were flying over #Damascus when chemical munitions were dropped on #Douma.

- "No #Syria planes take off without Russia's knowledge."
UK Amb. to UN @KarenPierceUN:

- "There are real questions about what is happening in the T4 airbase, with all its foreign fighters & equipment.”

- There have been repeated patterns of Mil Mi8 Hip helicopters flying amid chemical attacks in #Syria.
#France UN Amb. @franceonu:

- "The use of CWs is so abhorrent that it’s been prohibited for nearly a century now… now we're faced with the cynical & barbaric use of CWs to target innocent civilians… by the #Syria regime, which constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity."
U.S. Amb. to UN @nikkihaley:

- "The U.S. has put forward a draft resolution… we’ve held open & transparent negotiations [on the text] for weeks… we made special efforts with one Council member (#Russia), adding paragraph upon paragraph…”
U.S. Amb. to UN @nikkihaley:

- "#Russia’s draft resolution gives Russia itself the chance to choose the investigators & to assess their outcome. There is nothing independent about that… you’re either for an independent investigation or you're not."
#Moscow’s Amb. to UN:

- "It is not true that almost all of our requirements are taken into the U.S. resolution - in fact, it is a copy of the previous #JIM model… we have made clear that #Russia will never support this… this is anarchy & manipulation."
#Moscow’s Amb. to UN:

- "Several months will be needed to put together a workable investigative mechanism… Why do you need a mechanism when you have already decided the guilty party? You do not want to hear anything."
#Moscow’s Amb. to UN, speaking to U.S. @nikkihaley:

- "We will be using out veto in order to protect international order and security… we are in #Syria to counter international terrorism… Who do you cover? You cover the terrorists. We do hope you come to your senses."
#Russia vetoes U.S.-led resolution calling for a chemical weapons investigative mechanism for #Syria.
UK Amb. to UN, @KarenPierceUN:

- "By vetoing, #Russia has crossed a line in the international order… history is now repeating itself, one year on from Khan Sheikhoun.

Russia is not authorized to carry out an investigation in #Syria... no traces were found by whom?"
UK Amb. to UN, @KarenPierceUN:

- "It's become very clear that #Russia will do whatever it takes to protect #Syria… to shut down any discussion or investigation of its crimes… and this comes at the cost of Russia’s responsibility within this council."
UK Amb. to UN, @KarenPierceUN:

- #Russia’s credibility as a member of the UN Security Council is now in question…

We will not stand idly by & watch Russia continue to undermine global norms… Russia’s actions today are another step against the authority of the UN… & humanity"
#Russia’s resolution on chemical weapons investigative mechanism at the UN is *not* passed.

- 6 in favor
- 7 against
- 2 abstentions
UK Amb. to the UN, @KarenPierceUN:

- "With respect to Karl #Marx, I think he must be turning in his grave to see what has become of his country… in its defense of the use of chemical weapons against the innocent.”

If #Russia wants a criminal investigation we can refer to ICC."
U.S. Amb. to UN @nikkihaley:

The votes have been cast. The record will show that today, some tried to stand for truth and justice for #Syria’s people… today was time for action.

Month after month, #Russia has strung along this council… ignoring our calls for ceasefire, aid."
U.S. Amb. to UN @nikkihaley:

- There were only 2 differences between our & #Russia’s draft resolutions:

(1) Russia wanted to give themselves the responsibility to choose those given the task and (2) to assess the findings of those it chose to investigate the attack in #Douma.
U.S. Amb. to UN @nikkihaley:

- "History will record that on this day, #Russia chose to defend the monsters instead of the lives of #Syria’s people.”

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More from @Charles_Lister

Sep 21, 2018
My goodness: here's a prime example of policy advocacy on #Syria based either on ignorance, or [hopefully not] malign intent.

This is *riddled* with inaccuracy & misinformation.

@steelejourno says the West should force an opposition surrender in #Syria:

theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
@steelejourno #pt: @steelejourno says the US, UK & #France are “less honorable” in seeking to delay #Syria & #Russia’s “success” in regaining territory.

- They seek to enable a meaningful political process, in which there’s an opposition entity to sit at the table. I’d say that is honorable.
@steelejourno #pt: Here, @steelejourno says UK, US, France & "Gulf Arab monarchies” want ceasefires to protect rebels, not civilians.

In #Idlib, nothing could be further from the truth. None of those countries have *any* ties to rebel groups in #Idlib, who only equal ~0.5% of the population.
Read 10 tweets
Sep 20, 2018
Absolutely extraordinary.

#Syria’s air defense systems have no way to determine “friend” from “foe.” #Russia doesn’t export that tech.

Within a complex & unpredictable environment, that raises the risk to civilian aircraft
significantly.
#Israel says #Syria’s air defense fired “dozens” of anti-aircraft missiles from several batteries across the country over the space of 40-mins… *after* #IAF planes had returned to #Israel.

One took down #Russia’s IL-20.

timesofisrael.com/syria-fired-mi…
To me, this looks like messaging more than a truly dramatic change in reality/dynamics:

- S-300s already deployed in #Syria.

- #Israel (& US) uses encrypted radar/GPS; less vulnerable to counter-measures

- #Russia has been “jamming” for 2+ yrs.

- #Israel fires most from Med.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 17, 2018
BREAKING - Likely #Israel airstrikes just hit a scientific research center - reportedly linked to the SSRC - in #Latakia.

#Assad regime air defenses were allegedly activated in multiple provinces: #Latakia, #Tartus, #Homs & #Hama.
Mabrouk #Assad - your invincible air defenses shot down an aircraft!

... a #Russia IL-20 reconnaissance plane was shot down over #Syria tonight - amid #Israel airstrikes in #Latakia.

#OwnGoal

Tonight’s developments vis-a-vis #Israel & Russia are a pretty big deal.

It would seem #Israel may have acted without giving #Moscow prior warning = big challenge to their prior arrangement.

Or, #Russia did know, but got attacked by their errant ally in #Damascus = humiliating.
Read 7 tweets
Aug 22, 2018
Fascinating work by @HaidHaid22 - looking at initiatives (or a lack, thereof) by the #SDF & the #FSA to reconcile/rehabilitate/reintegrate #ISIS detainees in northern #Syria.

Really important backgrounder:

icsr.info/2018/08/20/rei…
@HaidHaid22 #pt: According to @HaidHaid22’s work for @ICSR_Centre, one’s decision to join #ISIS in #Syria was driven primarily by x4 factors:

1. Financial benefits
2. Protection
3. Military capacity
4. Ideology

Less than 20% of recruits joined for ideological reasons.
@HaidHaid22 @ICSR_Centre #pt: @HaidHaid22 raises a number of important questions for @CJTFOIR & its #SDF partner:

- Surging strains on the #SDF's makeshift prison network holding 1,000s of #ISIS prisoners, raises risks of eventual #ISIS attacks, aimed at replicating #Iraq’s 2012-3 “Breaking the Walls.”
Read 4 tweets
Aug 20, 2018
Here, a @UKLabour MP praises a notorious conspiracist who says meeting Bashar al-#Assad was her "proudest" moment.

She's justified incendiary weapons & barrel bombs on civilian targets; suggested 9/11 was a false flag; Zionists rule #France & the #CharlieHebdo attack was fake.
@UKLabour Extraordinary.

@UU_University invited notorious conspiracist Vanessa Beeley to lecture on “War Reporting.”

Her claims were so outlandish, the students walked out & boycotted the course, calling it “a propaganda camp.”

news.postimees.ee/4511277/top-un…

(PS - Look at the pictured slide)
@UKLabour @UU_University #pt: Among Beeley’s claims at @UU_University:

- @hrw is run by a secret “Jewish organization called the #Washington elite.”

- #Russia only promotes international peace

- #Syria’s opposition "tear pregnant women in half, betw'n cats”

- All media (e.g. @guardian) are govt tools
Read 4 tweets
Aug 17, 2018
Images of White Helmets weeding and cleaning the exterior of a Church in #Idlib appear to have terrified the pro-#Assad community.

Nothing short of hysteria coming from the regime loyalist crowd over the last 12hrs. #Syria
This “veteran correspondent” is losing it.

#Syria #Idlib
St. Joseph’s Church in the village al-Quneya - the one cleaned by White Helmets - in west #Idlib suffered substantial damage when it was bombed by #Assad regime forces in April 2013.

So much for being the protector of Christians & #Syria’s minorities.

Read 5 tweets

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