NEW -- #Russia's invasion of #Ukraine has killed #Syria diplomacy & will trigger an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
To adapt to this challenge, I propose a bold new approach -- "Freeze and Build" -- focusing more strategically on aid/stabilization:
“When hatred reigns, everyone loses.”
@FoleyDi talks about meeting Alexander Kotey, one of the #ISIS “Beatles” responsible for Jim’s murder. Another meet is scheduled next week, per Kotey’s plea deal.
“I tried to be a good listener,” she said.
NEW: Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov had lunch on Thursday at Cafe Milano in Georgetown with former U.S. envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad. I was at a nearby table and overheard much of the conversation. What they said, via @playbookdc: politico.com/newsletters/pla…
In the last 11yrs, 228,893 civilian deaths have been fully verified in #Syria.
91% were killed by #Assad's regime & #Russia.
The world mobilized en masse to neutralize the #ISIS threat (a symptom of #Syria's crisis), but is now indifferent to #Assad's persistence.
On June 23, @INTERPOL_HQ & the #UAE hosted a #MiddleEast counter-narcotics conference, under the rubric of the international 'Operation Lion Fish.'
#Assad's regime was invited to participate -- because a narco state producing ~$30bn of drugs per year has so much to contribute...
"After a decade of conflict, normalization is good... It’s a really positive sign; it’s one of those symbols of better times ahead.”
- Says "James Willcox," whose "adventure tourism" company @untamedborders is making money sending people to #Syria.
Tour leaders interviewed by @washingtonpost "all" denied being accompanied by regime minders (of course they did...).
"Tourists" say they're only helping #Syria's local economy -- but #Assad's cronies are cashing it in, planning 5-star hotel complexes & more.
Oh the naïveté.
Ukraine will prevail. Europe will prevail.
Today marks the beginning of a long journey that we will walk together.
The Ukrainian people belong to the European family. Ukraine’s future is with the EU.
We stand together for peace.
My message with @JosepBorrellF
In ~2 weeks, the UNSC will vote on whether cross-border aid will be allowed to continue crossing into northwest #Syria, to ~4 million people in need.
Concerns are rising that #Russia intends to veto -- which would trigger a "humanitarian catastrophe," according to @UN bodies.
In recent yrs, the cross-border mechanism has seen ~1,000 trucks of humanitarian aid enter NW #Syria each month -- a monthly effort costing ~$100 million.
In 12 months, x5 cross-line (from #Damascus) convoys have reached the NW, totaling 60 trucks.
There is NO comparison.
Neither the @UN nor international humanitarian principles were set up to allow individual nation states to veto the provision of aid to those in need.
But #Russia is doing just that -- it's "abominable," per @UNCoISyria.
We cannot let #Moscow veto, without severe consequences.
"Despite limited intelligence, the U.S. is already seeing the re-establishment of terrorist training camps inside #Afghanistan."
- Per @CENTCOM Commander Kurilla, who added that "over the horizon" capabilities were having little effect.
Per @UN polling, 93% of Syrian refugees have no intention to return to a #Syria controlled by #Assad's regime.
1.5% hope to return within 12 months.
Resistance to returning to #Syria has *increased* in recent years.
Additional high-level U.S. Government keynotes will be announced in the coming days.
In the meantime, check out the agenda & make sure to RSVP to attend in-person at @MiddleEastInst (numbers are limited!) and online, via livestream.