Tag Archives: War Crimes

Criminalising the Assad Regime

As the Syrian war reaches its terminal stages, open conflict has given way to a PR war.

The regime of Bashar al-Assad, backed by its Russian and Iranian allies, desires legitimacy and recognition. Assad is unlikely to receive it. His enemies wish to make it clear that, though the regime looks unlikely to fall, its essential character and its crimes exclude it from the community of nations. Continue reading

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Nothing Special

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

In Sight of Sochi

After weeks of threat and portent, the people of Idlib have been granted a stay of execution. The regime of Bashar al-Assad and its Russian backers will not, for now, rampage through the northern province and bomb it to rubble. Their incipient offensive has been delayed, though it has not been cancelled. 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

Is Evacuating Syria’s White Helmets Little More Than a Token Gesture?

Every so often governments undertake acts of unarguable good. These moments are rare, and they are frequently small, justifiable less in terms of their large-scale consequences than their own morality or merit. But governments must still be induced to act in this way. And good ought to be recognised when it is done. Continue reading

Daraa Could Mark the End of the Assad Regime’s Ability to Act With Impunity

What is happening to Syria gives little reason for optimism. What positivity there is must be extracted from adverse events – and present events are adverse. 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