A while ago, eagerly and secretly, a professor at Edinburgh University began a correspondence over email with a man he thought was a Russian spy. ‘Ivan’, as the spy eventually took signing himself, wanted to thank the professor, Paul McKeigue, for his sterling efforts on matters of mutual interest. Those efforts, Ivan assured the professor, were appreciated by the boys in his office in Moscow.Continue reading
Tag Archives: Chemical weapons
Syria’s Civil War at Ten
Syria’s unending civil war is now a decade old. It has revealed the how willing and capable the regime of Bashar al-Assad is to use the fruits of cruelty to retain power. The war continually sinks to new depths. The catalogue of human suffering, affecting so many millions, becomes harder to hear and time goes on. Upon being told about this war, some become restless, while other eyes glaze over.Continue reading
Syria’s War on Doctors
One of the most brutal and most shocking features of Syria’s civil war is the way doctors and health centres have been targeted.
Throughout the war, the regime of Bashar al-Assad and its allies have attacked hospitals in rebel areas as part of a strategy to destroy popular resistance by rendering civilian life impossible. Continue reading
Vlogging around Syria’s War
Syria’s war, perhaps unlike any other civil conflict this century, has been uniquely influenced by propaganda. That propaganda has exerted a crucial influence over the course of the war. Continue reading
The Toll of American Indifference in Syria
Last month, while he was preparing to attend the United Nations general assembly, the American secretary of state Mike Pompeo, made a statement of seriousness but not of significance. Continue reading
The Syrian civil war’s most horrific feature has become its most consistent undertone – one of the threat of war crimes committed with chemical weapons.
Hundreds of attacks have been made with chemical weapons, whose manufacture and use are restricted by international agreement. A report by the Global Public Policy Institute recorded more than 336 incidents in which the use of chemical weapons in Syria was likely. Of those incidents, 98 per cent, the report claimed, were carried out by the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Continue reading
Syria’s Chemical Tactics Could Have Dreadful Consequences for Future Conflicts
Chemical warfare has dominated the global perception of the Syrian civil war. The use of chemical weapons, banned internationally, attracts its own condemnation but the way the Syrian war is captured and communicated to the world increased the horror and disgust its crimes can inspire. Continue reading
Staffan de Mistura’s office recently stated that he will shortly stand down as the United Nations’ special envoy to Syria. This announcement impelled cordial official references to the man and his work from governments and non-governmental organizations across the globe, but occasioned little sadness. Continue reading
Idlib and the Peace of the Graveyard
We know what it means by now.
The first shots have been fired – or rather, the first bombs have been dropped – of a new offensive in Syria’s civil conflict. Continue reading
Daraa: Assad’s Violence, Western Indifference; A Painfully Familiar Story
The assault on Daraa by the regime of Bashar al-Assad is well underway. Long-foreseen, its course will follow a predictable pattern. Continue reading