Blog archive: Syria

  • 28th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    For the first time since the Syrian conflict erupted, a political solution under UN auspices is beginning to look like a real possibility. There's still a long way to go, of course, but the Security Council's unanimous adoption of a binding resolution on dismantling Syria's chemical...
  • 26th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov continues to claim that Syrian rebels were responsible for the chemical attacks in Damascus on August 21. Lavrov "recently presented his US counterpart John Kerry with the latest compilation of evidence...
  • 25th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    I have spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks looking into the story that Saudi Arabia provided rebel fighters in Syria with chemical weapons. More specifically, I have been looking at the story of how it became a story – along with the questions this raises about the boundaries between...
  • 22nd September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    New questions have arisen about Yahya Ababneh, the alleged author of an article claiming that the chemical deaths in Damascus last month were caused by rebel fighters mishandling weapons supplied by Saudi Arabia.  The story, originally published by an American website, Mint Press...
  • 21st September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The mystery surrounding an internet article cited by Russia to cast doubt on the findings of UN weapons inspectors in Syria took a new twist yesterday when one of the alleged authors denied having written the article. The article, headed "Syrians in Ghouta claim Saudi-supplied rebels behind...
  • 21st September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The story behind the story about Saudi Arabia supposedly providing Syrian rebels with chemical weapons gets weirder and weirder, though perhaps also a little clearer. For readers who haven't been following the tale, I'll start with a quick catch-up. Last month an American website, Mint Press...
  • 18th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Among those who blame Syrian rebels for the chemical attacks near Damascus on August 21, the most-circulated story during the last couple of weeks has been one headed: "Syrians in Ghouta claim Saudi-supplied rebels behind chemical attack". Originally published with an "exclusive" tag by Mint...
  • 17th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    While awaiting the UN weapons inspectors' report on Syria yesterday I was wondering how Russia would react to it. To dismiss the inspectors' findings – by implication questioning the integrity of the investigation process – was clearly not a sensible option. On the other hand, it would be difficult...
  • 15th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon is due to brief the Security Council tomorrow on the findings of the weapons inspectors in Syria. Now that the immediate crisis has blown over as a result of yesterday's Russian-American agreement and Syria's formal acceptance of the Chemical Weapons...
  • 15th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    When I first began advocating a diplomatic solution to the Syrian chemical weapons crisis (here, here, here, and here), it seemed like rather a hopeless quest. But now, nine days after my first blog post on the subject, there's an agreement in place. Syria has swiftly accepted the Chemical Weapons...
  • 11th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Arguments about Syria's chemical weapons have now shifted to the UN Security Council, with predictable results. Russia is resisting American and French attempts to issue a binding resolution – i.e. one that could be backed up with the use of force if Syria failed to comply. "We need a full...
  • 9th September 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    As regular readers of this blog will know, I have recently been advocating two things in connection with Syria: First, to address the issue of chemical weapons separately from the wider conflict.  That's because it IS a separate issue. Although the chemical crisis has arisen out of the...

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