Who We Are

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

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.

Founded in 2014, we have quickly established ourselves as a leading authority on conflict violence as it affects civilian communities. 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. We also have a satellite European office in Utrecht in The Netherlands. Our 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.

Kinda Haddad

Based in the UK, Kinda Haddad is a Dutch-Syrian journalist who leads our Syria team monitoring claims of civilian casualties from Coalition, Russian and Turkish military actions. 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.

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, Alex Hopkins is responsible for archiving official military reports of the war; assessing alleged Russian strikes in Syria; and writing 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.

Abdulwahab Tahhan

Raised in Aleppo, Abdulwahab Tahhan is a Syria researcher with Airwars. Previously, Abdul helped produce the documentary about Syrian refugees, The Suffering Grasses. In parallel with his work at Airwars, he is pursuing a PhD on civilian harm in Syria.

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.

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.

Sophie Dyer

As a senior researcher, Sophie’s advocacy work focuses on the reconciliation of the Airwars civilian casualty database with belligerent reporting, via direct engagement, analysis and modeling, including geolocation. Sophie project led the redesign of our online archive. She studied at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, and has a background in Visual Communication. Prior to Airwars, she worked as a freelancer with Forensic Architecture amongst others.

Maike Awater

Maike Awater is our Netherlands-based advocacy officer and conflict researcher focused on Dutch and Belgian airstrikes. She works with political parties, civic society and media in both countries to stimulate engagement on transparency and accountability issues. Maike has a BA in Political Science and an MA in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam. Her previous work as Humanitarian Affairs Officer for MSF in Myanmar focussed on protection of civilians and human rights issues.

Osama Mansour

Osama Mansour joined the Airwars Libya team in November 2017. He was born and raised in Tripoli, and is now based between the UK and Libya. Prior to Airwars, Osama worked for the United Nations (UNDP) for six years, during which time he worked with the UN’s Election team, International Media Support, and the Immediate Assistance team on the Libyan Political Dialogue and Government of National Accord project. He has a BSc in Economics and Politics.

Poppy Bowers

Based in London, Poppy Bowers is a civilian casualty assessor, evaluating civilian casualty allegations from Russian actions in Syria. Poppy has an MA in History from the University of Southampton where she specialised in gendered and racialised discrimination against refugees living in France. Prior to Airwars, she worked with Amnesty International and spent two years as president of the Amnesty Society at her university. Poppy was part of the team who introduce PeaceJam to the UK in 2015.

Beth Heron

Beth Heron came to Airwars as a volunteer in 2016 researching conflict discourse in Pentagon and US State Department reporting of civilian harm. She now works as a Civilian Casualty Assessor – building on the archive of allegations against both Russian and the Coalition. She holds an MA in Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy from Goldsmiths.

Laura Brunn

Laura Emilie Bruun is a civilian casualty assessor on our Russia team, based in London and Copenhagen. In coordination with researchers, she assesses alleged Russian civilian harm events in Syria. Laura has a background in Arabic and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Copenhagen, enabling her to use Arabic sources in her work. Currently, Laura is also pursuing an MA in International Security and Law from the University of Southern Denmark.

Hanna Rullmann

Hanna Rullmann is a 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.