Who We Are

Displaced civilians near Mosul, May 2017. (Maranie R. Staab)

Airwars is a collaborative, not-for-profit transparency project aimed at tracking, assessing and archiving international military actions and related civilian harm claims in conflict zones such as Iraq, Syria and Libya. We also work with militaries, where practicable, to help improve understanding of public civilian harm allegations – with the aim of reducing battlefield casualties.

Founded in 2014, we have quickly established ourselves as a leading authority on conflict violence as it affects civilian communities. Our international team has monitored more than 30 belligerents across six conflict countries – and has tracked more than 50,000 locally alleged civilian deaths.

Headquartered in London, Airwars is affiliated with the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. We also have a satellite European office in Utrecht in the Netherlands. Other staff and volunteers are based in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and North America.

Team

Chris Woods

Chris Woods is the founder and Director of Airwars, where he leads on research, investigations and military advocacy. 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.

Dmytro Chupryna

Based in London, Deputy Director Dmytro Chupryna is responsible in particular for Airwars’ advocacy and fundraising strategy. He has key experience of working as a director for development in international charities. At Airwars he is also responsible for the development and delivery of organisational strategy.

Maysa Ismael

Maysa is our UK advocacy officer and conflict researcher. She holds an MA in Sociology, ‘Human Rights, Culture and Social Justice’, from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research focused on the vernacularisation of women’s rights in IDP settings. Previously Maysa worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Damascus, and with the Rory Peck Trust in London.

Mohammed al-Jumaily

Mohammed is our London-based Conflict Researcher, where he focuses in particular on Syria, Iraq and Yemen. He previously worked as a Middle East research analyst with Integrity UK, and holds an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics. His LSE research focused on the role of international institutions in post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding in Iraq and Syria.

Salim Habib

Salim Habib is a Baghdad-based researcher and journalist who monitors and follows up for us reports of civilians killed and injured in Iraq by US-led Coalition air and artillery strikes. 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.

Alex Hopkins

Based in London, research manager Alex Hopkins runs our Russian strikes research project and also writes our monthly assessments. Alex has worked as an editor for a number of print and online publications and was a sub-editor for the Guardian and Observer’s syndicated news services.

Shihab Halep

A refugee from Aleppo who is now based in Turkey, Shihab Halep is an Arabic-language researcher in the Syria Team. He has worked for Airwars since 2016. Shihab monitors and researches Russian and Coalition strikes and reported civilian harm in Syria.

Laurie Treffers

Laurie Treffers is our acting Netherlands-based conflict researcher and advocacy officer. Previously, she was a volunteer at Airwars, geolocating both US-led coalition and Russian airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. She holds an MA in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from Utrecht University. Her graduate research focused on female resistance in the occupied West Bank village of Budrus and was nominated for several thesis prizes, such as the 2018 Visions on Peace prize. Previously, Laurie worked as a freelance journalist, media assistant and communications adviser.

Oliver Imhof

Oliver Imhof is the English language researcher on our Libya project, and assesses airstrikes in coordination with our Arabic team. He previously worked as a freelance journalist for the Guardian and Vice, with a particular interest in 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.

Hanna Rullmann

Hanna Rullmann is a part time data and advocacy researcher, working out of the London office where she focuses on mapping projects. Hanna recently completed an MA at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College, and has a background in graphic design.

Abbie Cheeseman

Abbie Cheeseman is a part-time casualty event assessor and data analyst with Airwars, where she straddles both military advocacy and assessing alleged Russian strikes. Based in London, Abbie is a journalist with an interest in the Middle East, and issues relating to terrorism and security. She is currently studying for an MA in Interactive Journalism at City, University of London.