Revelations about UK covert operations in Syria challenge media narratives on the war

by Mark Curtis Declassified UK, 18 May 2020 Newly-discovered documents show how UK covert operations in Syria helped “shape perceptions” of the war. The British government effectively ran Syrian opposition groups’ media offices and created publicity material aimed at Syrian and UK audiences, challenging the idea the UK has played little role in the conflict […]

British government ministers have been complicit in millions of deaths since 1945, so don’t be surprised that they won’t face justice over coronavirus

By Mark Curtis Declassified UK, 2 May 2020 The UK government’s failure to provide protective equipment to all health staff treating coronavirus victims prompts questions whether ministers are legally culpable for failing to prevent deaths. But UK ministers routinely act with impunity and every prime minister since 1945 has been complicit in deaths abroad. At […]

How the UK press is misinforming the public about Britain’s role in the world

by Mark Curtis Declassified UK, 9 March 2020 Britain’s national press consistently portrays Britain as a supporter of noble objectives such as human rights and democracy. The extraordinary extent to which the public is being misinformed about the UK’s foreign and military policies is revealed in new statistical research by Declassified UK. The research suggests […]

Britain’s seven covert wars: An Explainer

By Mark Curtis and Matt Kennard Declassified UK, 17 September 2019 The United Kingdom is fighting at least seven covert wars largely outside parliamentary or democratic oversight. The British government states that its policy on the covert wars it fights is “not to comment, and to dissuade others from commenting or speculating, about the operational […]

How the West’s war in Libya has spurred terrorism in 14 countries

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 3 May 2019 Eight years on from Nato’s war in Libya in 2011, as the country enters a new phase in its conflict, I have taken stock of the number of countries to which terrorism has spread as a direct product of that war. The number is at […]

British foreign policy in the Middle East: A secret history of self interest

By Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 27 March 2019 On Tuesday in the British parliament, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry asked an urgent question relating to allegations that British troops have been covertly fighting in Yemen and supporting the Saudi-led coalition. As reported in the Mail on Sunday, five British special forces troops from the elite Special Boat […]

UK favours extremism over democracy in Syria

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 22 July 2018 How does a British government respond when an allied state invades another territory with the backing of jihadists, overthrows a democratic experiment and consolidates an occupation? Judging by what Turkey is doing in the Afrin district of northern Syria, the answer is: by supporting […]

Murder on the beach: British-backed wars helped create Tunisian killer

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 3 July 2018   Three years ago on 26 June, a 23-year-old Tunisian armed with a machine gun mowed down 38 tourists at a beach hotel in the resort of Port El Kantaoui. Thirty British tourists were among the dead in the worst attack on Britons since […]

Are British ministers consistently misleading parliament on their Middle East policy?

By Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 17 May 2018   Two British ministers have recently been forced to resign for misleading parliament. Last month, Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned, saying she had mistakenly misled parliament over whether her department had targets for deporting illegal immigrants. Last December, Damian Green, who was effectively Theresa […]

How Britain engaged in a covert operation to overthrow Assad

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 25 April 2018 Some commentators in the British mainstream media believe the UK has “done nothing” in the war in Syria and lament the failure to help stop it. In fact, Britain has engaged in a covert operation with allies to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad for more than […]