Airwars is a collaborative, not-for-profit transparency project aimed both at tracking and archiving international military actions in conflict zones such as Iraq, Syria and Libya. With thirteen Coalition nations bombing in Syria alone during the war against so-called Islamic State, along with the air forces of Russia, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Assad regime – there is a pressing public interest need for independent, trustworthy assessments.
Headquartered in London, Airwars is affiliated with the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. Staff and volunteers are also based in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and North America.
As we explain more fully in our Methodology, in addition to tracking international military actions we also seek to assess – and where possible follow up on – credible allegations of civilian casualties. Part of our data is drawn from reports by the US, allied and Russian militaries, which is then cross-referenced against known claims by local monitoring groups, media and social media of civilians reported killed.
Our support for others
Airwars fully supports the goals of Every Casualty, the international NGO which campaigns for the recording of victims by all parties to conflicts. As its simple mission statement notes: ‘Governments must ensure that all lives lost to armed violence, anywhere in the world, are properly recorded.’ We are pleased to be a part of the associated Casualty Recorders Network, an international alliance which strives for best practice among its 50 members. We also strive to follow best practice as laid out in the Standards for Casualty Recording.
Who we are
London-based investigative journalist Chris Woods leads the Airwars project. A conflict specialist, he worked for the BBC’s Newsnight and Panorama as a senior producer for many years. Chris also set up and ran the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s award-winning Drones Project. His book, Sudden Justice charts the history of armed drone use in Iraq and elsewhere since 9/11.
Salim Habib is a Baghdad-based researcher and journalist who monitors and follows up for us reports of civilians killed in Iraq by Coalition airstrikes. Salim has worked as a researcher and field producer for many major international news organisations, including the BBC, the UK’s Channel 4, Al Jazeera English, Al Arabiya and ABC News.
Based in the UK, Kinda Haddad is a Dutch-Syrian journalist who monitors claims of civilian casualties from Coalition and Russian airstrikes in Syria for Airwars. A former BBC Panorama journalist, Kinda is also the founder of Bulbula, which seeks to improve the representation of expert Middle Eastern women in the media.
Based in London, Alex Hopkins is responsible for archiving official military reports of the war; assessing alleged Russian strikes in Syria; and maintaining our social media profiles. Alex has worked as an editor for a number of print and online publications and is a sub-editor for the Guardian and Observer’s syndicated news services.
Samuel Oakford is an investigative journalist based in New York City, focused on Coalition and Russian actions in Syria and Iraq – and the unfolding situation in Libya. His previous work has focused on peacekeeping and human rights issues, particularly civilians in conflict. For two years Samuel was VICE News’ UN correspondent, where he broke a number of stories on conflicts in Yemen, Iraq and South Sudan.
Abdulwahab Tahhan was raised in Aleppo, Syria. He previously worked on The Suffering Grasses – a documentary about Syrian refugees which went on to win six awards. Now based in the UK, with the assistance of the Refugee Journalism Project Abdulwahab first joined Airwars in summer 2016 as a volunteer. His work focuses in particular on Russia’s actions.
Conflict researcher and advocacy officer Koen Kluessien is focused on Dutch and Belgian airstrikes, thanks to a grant from Stichting Democratie en Media. Koen works closely with political parties, civic society and media in both countries to help stimulate engagement on transparency issues. Koen has an MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from the University of Amsterdam and previously worked as a researcher at the NIOD institute for war, Holocaust, and genocide studies.
Eeva Sarlin is a London-based data and advocacy researcher at Airwars. With a background in architecture, she oversees the geolocation of reported strikes. Eeva is a recent graduate from MA Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Oliver Imhof is the English language researcher on our Libya team and assesses airstrikes in coordination with our Arabic researchers. He previously worked as a freelance journalist for the Guardian and Vice with a particular interest for the Middle East. Oliver has an MA in Politics from the University of Frankfurt and an MSc in Digital Journalism from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Airwars is funded by philanthropic organisations and by public donations, along with significant pro bono contributions from our volunteers.
Our key supporters include the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, which since 2015 has supported Airwars in its monitoring of civilian harm. Funding from the Open Society Foundations supports our work in Iraq, Syria and Libya. And we also employ a full time researcher in the Netherlands focuses on Dutch and Belgian arstrikes and transparency – kindly funded by Stichting Democratie en Media.
All our maps, graphics and data engines are designed and maintained by Basile Simon. Our modelling of Coalition Iraq and Syria airstrikes is based on original mapping by the Danish daily newspaper Dagbladet Information, an early collaborator with the Airwars project. With special thanks to Nick Axel of Forensic Architecture for our 2016 website redesign.
Airwars compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Data Protection Statement
As a not for profit transparency organisation, Airwars regards the lawful and fair treatment of personal information as very important to its successful operations, and to maintaining confidence between our team and all those who use and access our services.
What information will we collect, and how will we use it?
We do not collect personal data from people visiting our website, or our social media sites. If you sign up for our newsletters and updates, we will collect and securely store any personal data you choose to give us (such as your name, contact details and demographic information) in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2018. We may also use personal data to understand the demographics of the individuals using and accessing our services, though this data will not be shared outside of the organisation. Where consent from you is given, we will add your data to our MailChimp lists, an organisation which manages the technical side of our newsletters. The information securely held by MailChimp only includes your name and email address in the context of the Airwars list you have chosen to subscribe to – and will not be shared by them with any other party.
All data securely stored at Airwars will be reviewed annually, to ensure that the organisation does not hold on to personal data indefinitely.
You have the following rights. If you wish invoke any of the below, please write to us:
- Right to be forgotten: You may terminate your data being held by Airwars at any time, in which case we will permanently delete your details and all data associated with it.
- Right to object: You may opt out of inclusion of your data in our analytics projects which help us understand our customers.
- Right to rectification: You may request access to and update your data at any time, in order to correct or complete your personal information. You may also contact Airwars at any time to access, correct, amend or delete information that we hold about you.
- Right of access: Our Data Protection Statement (see above) describes what data we collect and how we use it. If you have specific questions about particular data, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information at any time.
- Right of portability: We will export your data to a third party at any time upon your request.
If you have any complaints about how your data is used or about the overall service, please send an email to email@example.com and we will investigate your complaint and respond within 14 days.
Airwars is registered in England and Wales as a not-for profit company limited by guarantee, company number 10314448. Our registered address is c/o TaxAssist Accountants, 235 Blackstock Road, London, N5 2LL.