Blog archive: Syria

  • 21st November 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A Russian-led move to restrict investigation of chemical attacks in Syria was heavily defeated at the Chemical Weapons Convention review conference in The Hague on Tuesday. As a result, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will now be able to carry out further...
  • 19th October 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A lobbyist who has received at least $120,000 for PR activities on behalf of Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar is one of the scheduled speakers at a controversial meeting to be held in the House of Lords later this month. The meeting, billed as a discussion on postwar "reconstruction and...
  • 19th September 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Peter Hitchens, the Mail On Sunday columnist, claims to have detected a "very interesting pattern" in official reports about chemical weapon allegations in Syria. The pattern, he says, is that "if official reports don't justify punitive attacks on Syria, new reports then appear, which do...
  • 13th September 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A "vast body of evidence" supports claims that a chemical attack took place in Douma earlier this year, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said yesterday.  The reported attack, on April 7, led to airstrikes by American, British and French forces six days later. As on all previous...
  • 12th September 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Video footage of a faked chemical attack in Syria, which the Russian military claimed would be "handed to global news outlets by the end of Tuesday", has so far failed to materialise. According to a briefing note issued by the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in...
  • 8th September 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Amid fears of a bloodbath in northern Syria where regime forces and their Russian allies are poised for an assault on the last rebel-held area, victory festivities are already under way in the capital. This year's Damascus International Fair, a 10-day exhibition of consumer goods,...
  • 29th August 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Since 2012 there have been scores of suspected chemical attacks in Syria – possibly more than 200. Of those, only a few have been investigated by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and only three have resulted in significant consequences for the alleged...
  • 16th August 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A former British ambassador has called on western governments to "shorten the agony of Syria" by re-engaging with the Assad regime – in effect, turning a blind eye to the regime's atrocities during the seven-year conflict. In an article circulated (here, here and here) by the regime's...
  • 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...
  • 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...

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