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Charles Lister Feb 27
Replying to @Charles_Lister
We now have 3 days left until 's self-imposed end of February deadline. 's rhetoric has remained committed to its demands & preparedness for a military campaign. As 2 more were killed, also just pulled out of meeting on March 5. Ominous.
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Charles Lister Feb 27
NEW on - a powerful piece on what's at stake in by Labib al-Nahhas De La Ossa () of : - "If the West leaves to & , it won’t be only Syrians who pay the price"
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Charles Lister Feb 27
-backed opposition have continued their advance east of , capturing al-Kadura & Kafr Batikh. This map shows the move east & [re-]cutting of the M5. A jet was also targeted with a MANPADS, likely launched by troops.
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Charles Lister Feb 27
As tracks, the only forces has dispatched to the front are Tiger Force reserves - who from this video, appear to be entirely comprised of teenage boys: Hard to see that as sufficient to roll back recent losses, for now.
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Charles Lister Feb 27
For now, -backed opposition gains around have not been pushed back & I'm told preparations are underway for an assault on Khan al-Subl (also on the M5). BUT, jets have been smashing all evening. Expect a counter-assault tonight.
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Charles Lister Feb 27
NEW - - talks have broken down, amid reports that a military convoy was just hit right after crossing into from . Many casualties. An emergency national security meeting has been hurriedly called & is now underway in , chaired by .
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Charles Lister Feb 27
As I wrote a week ago in (), the stakes over are existential for . I cannot fathom how he doesn't eventually hit back, hard. => His main domestic rival, the CHP, has just called its own emergency meeting, to discuss .
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Charles Lister Feb 27
BREAKING - opposition sources are claiming "a large number" of soldiers have been killed & wounded in an airstrike in southern . Some reports say 32 killed, which if true, would be a *massive* escalation.
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Charles Lister Feb 27
A local in says hospital has taken in 33 dead troops & 50 wounded:
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Charles Lister
NEW - Updated reports indicate a 2-storey building used by the military as a command headquarters was leveled in a targeted airstrike. Requests by to fly in helicopters to evacuate casualties were rejected by AB = casualties were driven by land.
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Charles Lister Feb 27
As reports flood in of a mass casualty strike on 's military in , prominent GOP figure has called on to enforce a no-fly zone within -administered airspace (v. @JackDetsch_ALM) [Very unlikely, but a notable shift in rhetoric]
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Charles Lister Feb 27
NEW - Multiple explosions in & , amid reports of F-16's buzzing the border & possibly crossing. MRLs are firing artillery rockets at multiple positions in & W. .
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Charles Lister Feb 27
BREAKING - is signaling [to /] that it will/has opened its borders to refugees & close down *all* barriers to refugee flows to .
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Charles Lister Feb 27
I & others have been shouting from the rooftops for years about the costs that would come from a major crisis in . was never a problem the West could ignore -- it's an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with global consequences. Global indifference has its costs.
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Charles Lister Feb 27
& the US have grown [understandably] exasperated at (bc of -- issues], but that frustration led to a blind refusal to see as anything more than "'s problem." It never was. And it could easily/swiftly become *our* problem to deal with.
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Charles Lister Feb 27
In & , leadership attention & policy engagement on has been woefully negligent for far too long & the cold disregard for human life has been nothing short of appalling. If this does spill over into , 2015-16 could pale in comparison.
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Charles Lister Feb 27
NEW - After some confusion, the governor of has confirmed 22 soldiers were killed in a [] airstrike in :
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Charles Lister Feb 27
NEW, via sources - intelligence MIT has informed all allied opposition factions in northern to be on "maximum readiness," amid reports of plans for retaliation in .
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Charles Lister Feb 27
It ought to be stating the obvious, but developments tonight might equal nothing short of an - dream scenario. - Hit hard - lashes out at - begins to empty of IDPs - & suffer - SAA- march forward & conquer .
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Charles Lister Feb 27
. couldn't have published this piece by 's at a more timely moment. The costs of leaving to worsen were clear a long time ago, but nobody wanted to listen:
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Charles Lister Feb 27
NEW - While -- is spiraling out of control, more developments tonight: - Multiple airstrikes target -linked cell embedded with the in - has intercepted an military convoy outside .
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Charles Lister Feb 27
As claims to be opening the refugee floodgates to , let's just remind ourselves of the important numbers: - 3.7 million refugees in - ~2 million IDPs on border - ~1.5 million more people in NW Those aren't a secret. We've known for years.
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Charles Lister Feb 27
Replying to @Charles_Lister
So far, has acknowledged 29 deaths in tonight’s strike (by , not ), but my sources tell me the number may be double that. trying to balance de-escalation w. , escalation w. , threats to , outreach to /US & domestic politics.
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Charles Lister Feb 27
Replying to @Charles_Lister
UPDATE - now confirming 33 dead in tonight's strike (by , not ) in . Meanwhile a batch of refugees were permitted to leave NW towards /.
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Charles Lister Feb 27
Replying to @Charles_Lister
Gathering from footage released by showing UAV precision strikes on forces in in recent weeks, estimates of losses - manpower & armor - based on opposition footage need expanding significantly. ~100 killed & dozens of tanks, APCs, pick-ups destroyed.
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Charles Lister Feb 28
Replying to @Charles_Lister
So far today, 300+ refugees have arrived by boat on beaches in & several 100 more are stuck in no-man's land between & . Turkish buses are running discounted rides to the border. Turkish TV is following boats as they depart.
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Charles Lister Feb 28
Replying to @Charles_Lister
NEW - Images have emerged today showing the command HQ, near the frontline in , which was hit overnight. jets ended up hitting the facility with 1.5 ton "demolition" munitions," leaving nearly 100 casualties.
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Charles Lister Feb 28
Replying to @Charles_Lister
In today, armed drones continue to operate; 6+ strikes so far on pro- positions. Though not game-changing, the damages incurred by these strikes in recent weeks is degrading 's ability to fight in the way it was 2-3 months ago.
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Charles Lister Feb 28
Replying to @Charles_Lister
Fighting continues east of , where an opposition assault - backed by artillery - is ongoing on al-Talhiya. At least 12 tanks (T-55, T-72 & T-90) have been captured intact in the area in the last 4 days, along with 20+ ATGMs & a huge amount of ammunition.
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Charles Lister Feb 28
Replying to @Charles_Lister
NEW - Unverified reports coming in that jets may have just launched airstrikes at pro- positions from within Turkish airspace.
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Charles Lister Feb 28
Replying to @MiddleEastInst
NEW - My latest for on ’s losses overnight & what it means for the crisis & the world: - “A wake-up call: The crisis & its effects look set only to worsen”
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Charles Lister Feb 28
UN Sec. Gen. comments on , making clear that sadly remains entirely out of touch: "There is no military solution, the only path is... UNSCR 2254. It's essential that fighting stops."
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Charles Lister Feb 28
UN Sec. Gen is asked whether contact with & suggests a ceasefire is on the cards: - "I don't think we're there, but I hope we will be one day."
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Charles Lister Feb 28
NEW - troops fired on 's Joureen camp in northern today, using [for the 1st recorded time] the newly deployed T-300 Kasırga system. It fires accurate rockets up to 120km.
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Charles Lister Feb 28
Replying to @Charles_Lister
NEW - Just released footage shows destroyed a Army SA-22 Pantsir S-1 sir defense system deployed inside . That’s something only had been recorded publicly to have done until now.
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Charles Lister Feb 28
Replying to @Charles_Lister
NEW - Reports tonight of 3+ strikes (by drones & long-range artillery) targeting senior pro- officers in NW - in western & southern . 1 strike killed a Brigadier commanding 's 124th Republican Guard Brigade. Another hit Russia PMCs.
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Charles Lister Feb 28
Replying to @Charles_Lister
appears to have significantly escalated its air campaign in NW tonight - strikes reported across the board, all targeting senior pro- officers. New footage (possibly not from today) allegedly shows strike on a CW facility in :
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Charles Lister Feb 28
Replying to @Charles_Lister
NEW - Unconfirmed reports that drones have targeted the al-Safira "defense factories" complex in . That's where manufactures barrel bombs.
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Charles Lister Feb 28
Replying to @Charles_Lister
has very clearly escalated tonight in an air campaign run entirely by armed drones, backed up by heavy (T300) rocket artillery. By all accounts, the has suffered significant officer losses tonight, along with multiple airbases & military facilities hit.
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Charles Lister Feb 28
Replying to @Charles_Lister
: The Defense Factories, a CW facility & Kweiris Airbase have all been hit, along with at least 3 senior command posts. Nayrab Airbase is reportedly being evacuated of aircraft (to AB). And pro- positions around are being hit hard by MRLs.
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