Did Assad Really Use Chemical Weapons in Douma?

by Helena Cobban [Ed. note: This story has been updated with additional information below.] Last month, a network of UK-based academics challenged allegations—which the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) officially corroborated on March 1—that the Syrian government… Continue Reading  

The Real Plight of Idlib’s Civilians

by Helena Cobban In the northwest Syrian province of Idlib, three million civilians find themselves at the vortex of large-scale battles as the Syrian government and its allies seek to retake the area from the rebel forces that have controlled… Continue Reading  

Bob Bernstein and Human Rights Watch: A Mixed Record

by Helena Cobban Washington DC, May 28—Robert Bernstein, the founder of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and a pioneering leader of the publishing company Random House, died earlier this week, aged 96. His passing provides a good opportunity to examine the… Continue Reading  

Ending the Suffering in Syria?

by Helena Cobban August 26 saw the failure of yet another attempt by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to negotiate the terms of a new cessation of hostilities in the now 64-month-long civil… Continue Reading