Blog archive: All

  • 3rd August 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi Arabia blamed rebels for two reported airstrikes on the Yemeni city of Hodeidah yesterday. More than 20 people died when the strikes hit a fish market and the entrance to a hospital, according to witnesses and medical staff. Colonel Turki al-Malki, spokesman for the Saudi-led...
  • 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...
  • 24th July 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Largely unnoticed by the British public, the Emir of Qatar has arrived in London for a visit which includes talks with prime minister Theresa May. Visits by Gulf potentates don't generally arouse much interest in Britain and the Emir's arrival is no exception – though it hasn't escaped the...
  • 16th July 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A pro-Israel thinktank with a reputation for Islamophobia is funding a campaign in Britain to release Tommy Robinson, a far-right agitator currently serving a jail sentence for disrupting a court case. Last week the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum (MEF) announced that it is supporting...
  • 12th July 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In a move that appears to license war crimes, the Saudi king has issued a pardon for "all military men" involved in the Yemen conflict.  An announcement by the government news agency on Tuesday said the pardon would apply to "military and disciplinary penalties, in regard of some...
  • 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...
  • 20th June 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In the midst of a furore over the Trump administration's policy of separating the children of detained migrants from their parents, the United States has announced that it is pulling out of the UN Human Rights Council. While these two developments are not directly connected many people will...
  • 13th June 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In Yemen, the long-expected military assault on the port city of Hodeidah began this morning. Hodeida is currently held by the Houthis who control much of northern Yemen. According to local reports it is being attacked from the south by the Amaliqa ("Giants") Brigades – a surviving section...

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