Blog archive: Syria

  • 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’...
  • 22nd April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    There's a claim circulated endlessly on the internet that the conflict in Syria is a "regime change war" orchestrated by western powers. As far as many of the Assad regime's defenders are concerned, this is established fact. To quote one of them – Piers Robinson, writing for the Open...
  • 21st April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Look up Ian56 on Twitter and the first thing you'll see is a fake photograph. The handsome man in the profile picture isn't Ian56. It's a 38-year-old fashion model called David Gandy. This, plus the fact that Ian56 is a staunch defender of Russia who posts on average 65 tweets a day may have...
  • 20th April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Yesterday dozens of Twitter users rallied to the defence of "Sarah Abdallah", a mysterious and possibly fictitious social media celebrity, following what they saw as a smear by the BBC. A BBC report had identified the @sahouraxo Twitter account – currently operated under the name "Sarah...
  • 16th April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    I got into an online discussion yesterday with Charles Shoebridge, an ex-soldier and former police officer who disputes the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime. One of the questions he asked was why, if the regime was making chemical weapons in secret, it would give the game away by...

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