Blog archive: Syria

  • 8th September 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Amid fears of a bloodbath in northern Syria where regime forces and their Russian allies are poised for an assault on the last rebel-held area, victory festivities are already under way in the capital. This year's Damascus International Fair, a 10-day exhibition of consumer goods,...
  • 29th August 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Since 2012 there have been scores of suspected chemical attacks in Syria – possibly more than 200. Of those, only a few have been investigated by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and only three have resulted in significant consequences for the alleged...
  • 16th August 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A former British ambassador has called on western governments to "shorten the agony of Syria" by re-engaging with the Assad regime – in effect, turning a blind eye to the regime's atrocities during the seven-year conflict. In an article circulated (here, here and here) by the regime's...
  • 2nd August 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On April 13 this year, American, British and French forces launched airstrikes against Syria intended – in the words of Donald Trump – to deter "the production, spread and use of chemical weapons". They were responding to what British prime minister Theresa May described as "a despicable and...
  • 9th July 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last Friday the OPCW published the results of laboratory tests on samples from a suspected chemical attack in Syria – thus prompting a wave of misreporting not only by the usual activists on social media but by others who ought to be setting a better example. A few hours after the findings...
  • 7th July 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The OPCW has now issued an interim report on the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, last April. Although the investigation is not yet complete, laboratory tests so far have found possible evidence of chlorine use but no evidence of sarin or a similar nerve agent. The OPCW also...
  • 27th June 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Following a vote earlier today the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is now authorised not only to investigate chemical attacks but also -- crucially -- to identify whoever was responsible. The decision came from a special session of states parties to the Chemical...
  • 27th June 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed yesterday there is no evidence that the Assad regime has been using chlorine as a chemical weapon. Numerous chlorine attacks have been documented in Syria and according to OPCW investigators the chemical has been used "...
  • 25th June 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A three-day conference on "upholding the global ban against chemical weapons use" is due to take place in The Hague this week. The conference, officially a special session of states parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, has been called at the request of 11 countries – Australia, Bulgaria...
  • 22nd May 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In a recent post on Twitter, British member of parliament Chris Williamson urged anyone interested in "proper journalism" to watch what he described as an "excellent" programme on RT, the Russian propaganda channel. The programme was a 25-minute interview with veteran...
  • 7th May 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    One of the Assad regime's most prominent British defenders is due to speak at a music-and-politics festival sponsored by several trade unions later this month. Vanessa Beeley, whose misleading reports about the Syrian conflict have turned her into a social media celebrity, will be...
  • 3rd May 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    One spin-off from the Syrian conflict has been a war of words that reaches far beyond the Middle East. It’s a battle in which honest reporting and the search for truth have come under sustained attack. Those leading the attack claim they are simply asking questions that need to be asked. It’...

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