Blog archive: All

  • 21st August 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The situation on the ground in Yemen is changing with great speed, UN special envoy Martin Griffiths told the Security Council on Tuesday. "We need to seize any opportunities for progress," he said.  The rapid changes that Griffiths was referring to are not in the four-year-long war...
  • 20th August 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The war in Yemen has been fought almost to a standstill. Four years of military intervention by a Saudi-led coalition aimed at restoring the "legitimate" government have failed to dislodge the Houthi rebels who control much of the north and there's little prospect of doing so in the near future. In...
  • 14th August 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Bristol University professor David Miller – a member of the "propaganda professors" group which defends the Assad regime against accusations of chemical weapons use in Syria and disputes Russia's use of a nerve agent against the Skripals in Britain – is behind a new campaign to sue the...
  • 13th August 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last Thursday Yemen's southern separatists sent a letter to the UN Security Council and to the foreign ministers of all EU member states. Written in flawless English, it set out their grievances and demanded "credible southern representation" in political processes aimed at ending the four...
  • 11th August 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On Saturday, after four days of armed clashes, separatist forces seized control of Aden – the "temporary" capital of Yemen's internationally-recognised government. They appear to have met little resistance in taking over military camps, the home of the interior minister and, most symbolically,...
  • 9th August 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Fighting between rival militias in Yemen's anti-Houthi coalition is continuing for a third day, according to reports this morning from the southern city of Aden. The clashes which broke out on Wednesday involve southern separatists on one side and supporters of Yemen's ousted but internationally...
  • 5th August 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Dozens of northern Yemenis living in the southern city of Aden have been "deported" back to the north during the last few days, according to local media reports. Forces of the Emirati-trained Security Belt are said to have raided homes, shops and markets, rounding up northerners. The...
  • 31st July 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Arabia Foundation, a pro-Saudi think tank established in Washington only two-and-a-half years ago suddenly closed down yesterday, citing "ongoing differences" among its donors that have "made continued operations difficult". In a series of posts on Twitter the organisation's founder, Ali...
  • 15th July 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A new team to identify the perpetrators of chemical attacks in Syria is now "fully operational", the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced last week. However, the creation of the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) has already caused a rift within...
  • 12th July 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Before the war in Syria few people had heard of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and even fewer had any idea what it did. It was one of those obscure international bodies populated by anonymous technocrats, and obscurity suited it well. The general lack of interest meant it...
  • 8th July 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The point of diplomatic cables, and the cause of excitement when they are leaked, is that they are meant to be private – from which we might assume they contain information that is not generally known and is perhaps too interesting to be shared with the public. Sadly, that wasn't the case with a...
  • 13th June 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    After a lengthy silence the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has revealed some interesting new details about a controversial internal document that surfaced recently on the internet. The document in question was an “engineering assessment” relating to the OPCW’s...

Pages