Blog archive: Syria

  • 11th August 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Jordan – so far the most successful of the Arab countries in controlling the coronavirus – has reported a sudden spate of new cases which appear to have a connection with Syria. On Monday health minister Saad Jaber said 24 locally-occurring infections had been detected during the previous...
  • 15th June 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Regional round-up ● Saudi Arabia reported 4,233 new Covid-19 infections yesterday – the kingdom's highest daily total so far. Around 40% of the new cases are in the capital, Riyadh, and according to the health ministry they were found mainly "among young people who may not have been...
  • 9th June 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Syria has imposed a lockdown on the town of Ras al-Ma'ara following a cornavirus outbreak there which has so far resulted in 20 people becoming infected. This is the largest cluster of related cases reported by the Syrian authorities since the pandemic began. According to government figures...
  • 25th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    If official reports are to be believed it's now more than three weeks since any Syrian living under the Assad regime's rule has become infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus. Although confirmed cases in regime-controlled areas have now risen to 106 the most recent 63 of them were all...
  • 9th April 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Syrian government forces carried out three chemical attacks on a rebel-held village in 2017, according to a new investigation by the OPCW. Based on the available evidence, that is the only conclusion that can "reasonably be reached", it said in a 82-page report published on Wednesday: "At...
  • 3rd February 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Rebels in Syria used a gas chamber to murder dozens of civilian captives, a university professor has claimed. The claim – which is not supported by any evidence – formed part of a Powerpoint presentation that Edinburgh University professor Paul McKeigue showed to a meeting in London last month...
  • 31st January 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last October a mysterious whistleblower surfaced in Brussels complaining of irregularities in the OPCW's investigation of a suspected chemical attack in Douma, Syria. "Alex" – as the whistleblower asked to be called – claimed that in an effort to shape the investigation towards a "pre-ordained"...
  • 30th January 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Among the leaked documents in the OPCW whistleblower affair is an account of a meeting between four of the organisation's staff and a group of toxicologists. The toxicologists were shown photos and videos of alleged victims from what was suspected to be a chlorine gas attack in Douma, Syria....
  • 27th January 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A former Director of Special Forces in the British army appeared on Russia's RT channel on Sunday, talking about the OPCW's investigation of a suspected chemical attack in Douma, Syria. Retired Major General John Holmes is a board member of the British Syrian Society along with President...
  • 21st January 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On Monday, Russia stepped up its campaign against identifying the perpetrators of chemical attacks in Syria with a specially-convened meeting at the UN. Though held under the auspices of the Security Council, it was what is known as an "Arria" meeting – a discussion that's not treated as formal...
  • 18th January 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Banned chemical weapons have been used repeatedly during the Syrian conflict and in most cases, if not quite all of them, the Assad regime is the obvious suspect. By its own admission the regime had stockpiles of chemical weapons, and almost all the reported attacks struck rebel-held areas....
  • 17th January 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On 6 June 2018, four staff from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons met a group of toxicologists in connection with the investigation of a suspected chlorine attack in Douma, Syria. As part of the investigation the OPCW initially proposed exhuming bodies from mass graves...

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