Archive: syria

11th August 2020
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 four… Read more
9th June 2020
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,… Read more
25th May 2020
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 detected… Read more
12th April 2020
By: Brian Whitaker
Police in Egypt used tear gas on Saturday to disperse protesters who were trying to prevent the burial of a doctor who died after being infected by coronavirus. Ahram Online reports that 23 people were arrested. It was the second attempt to bury the 64-year-old female doctor. Residents in her home… Read more
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… Read more
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"… Read more
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… Read more
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.… Read more
2nd January 2020
By: Brian Whitaker
Many of the recent claims about "irregularities" in the OPCW's investigation of a suspected chemical attack in Syria revolve around an employee called Ian Henderson. His exact role has been a matter of dispute but now leaked documents give a clearer picture. * * * In a report last… Read more
23rd December 2019
By: Brian Whitaker
Recently-leaked documents disprove claims by a whistleblower that the OPCW doctored a draft report of its investigation into a suspected chemical attack in Syria. They also cast doubt on claims that the views of staff were systematically ignored. They do, however, confirm a dispute… Read more