Who We Are

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

Airwars is a not-for-profit transparency watchdog which tracks, assesses, archives and investigates civilian harm claims resulting primarily from explosive weapons use in conflict-affected nations including Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. We also work with militaries, where practicable, to help improve understanding of civilian harm – with the aim of reducing battlefield casualties.

Founded in 2014, we are today 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 to date has tracked almost 60,000 locally alleged civilian deaths.

Headquartered in the UK, Airwars is affiliated with the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. Our subsidiary organisation Airwars Stichting is registered as a not for profit in the Netherlands, which is also home to our satellite European office in Utrecht. Airwars staff and volunteers are variously based in the UK, Middle East, Europe and North America.

Team

Emily Tripp

Emily is the Director of Airwars. Since 2021 she worked as our Research Manager, and took up the leadership of the organisation in June 2022. Her previous experience includes working in humanitarian aid delivery in the Middle East, with a focus on carrying out research and managing assessment teams in Syria and Libya to help inform humanitarian responses.

Joe Dyke

Joe leads our Investigations and Accountability Unit. Previously AFP’s chief correspondent for the Palestinian Territories, Joe has a decade of experience living and working in the Middle East. His role is to carry out in-depth investigations into conflict-related civilian harm.

Shihab Halep

Shihab Halep is our Senior Conflict Researcher, leading our local open source research teams. A refugee from Aleppo, he is our Syria specialist – with extensive experience monitoring and researching strikes from foreign actors in Syria (such as Russia and the US-led Coalition); Shihab additionally oversees and trains our monitoring teams for Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Iraq.

Kathrin Hanki

Kathrin is our Operations Coordinator. Kathrin has worked on building systems for community-led organisations, with extensive experience both internationally and in London.

Georgia Edwards

Georgia is our UK-based Advocacy Officer and Conflict Researcher. Previously Georgia worked as an assistant to a UK Member of Parliament; as an intern at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency; and took part in an investigative journalism programme run by the Bristol Cable in partnership with the Centre for Investigative Journalism.

Anna Zahn

Anna is a Conflict Research consultant based in the US currently working on casualty assessments across multiple conflicts and belligerents, and began with Airwars as a volunteer in 2018. She has an MA in American foreign policy and international economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS, and has previously worked in communications and political campaigning.

Clive Vella

Clive is our Open Source Research Lead. Originally starting with Airwars as our geolocation specialist, Clive has worked across our conflict portfolio verifying the locations of strikes and answering spatial questions internally and externally. He now leads our geospatial department, supplementing the work of both our investigations team and research teams to provide advanced analysis and innovate our practices. Clive holds an MA from the Centre For Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Salim Habib

Salim Habib is a Baghdad-based Conflict 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; as well as monitoring reports of civilian harm resulting from Turkish actions in northern Syria, and Kurdistan/ northern Iraq. Salim has worked in Iraq 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

Megan Karlshøj-Pedersen

Megan is our Policy Specialist, working across the US, the UK, and several European countries. She previously worked as a Conflict Researcher and Advocacy Officer at the Oxford Research Group’s Remote Warfare Programme and has extensive experience as an organiser within migration-focused projects.

Sanjana Varghese

Sanjana Varghese is an investigator in our Investigations and Accountability Unit. She graduated with a degree in Research Architecture with a studio in Forensic Architecture, from the University of Goldsmiths. She has previously worked as a freelance journalist for a number of publications, including WIRED, The New Statesman, and The Economist.

Chris Woods

Chris is the co-founder of Airwars, and up until June 2022 served as our Director. A conflict specialist, he worked for the BBC as a senior producer for almost a decade, working for example in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine. 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 since the 9/11 atrocities.