Middle East

050 Authoritarian measures in Israel

1 August 2016

Pentagon accuses Russia of targeting US-British Special Forces base in Syria

By Thomas Gaist, 25 July 2016

US-Russian tensions are surging in Syria, despite the Obama administration’s efforts to delay a further escalation of the war until after the 2016 US elections.

US air raids kill more than 200 civilians in northern Syria

By Thomas Gaist, 22 July 2016

The slaughter in northern Syria gives a foretaste of the bloody offensives being prepared by Washington and its NATO allies against Raqqa and Mosul.

The Turkish coup: A warning to the international working class

By Bill Van Auken, 18 July 2016

The attempted seizure of power by the military in Turkey, a key NATO member and sixth largest economy in Europe, is indicative of far broader dangers across the globe.

US Defense Secretary Carter announces 560 more US troops to Iraq

By Thomas Gaist, 13 July 2016

The deployments will support a joint US-Iraqi offensive against the urban center of Mosul, which is projected to last for months and turn hundreds of thousands more Iraqis into refugees.

The Chilcot verdict on Iraq: A war crime by British and US imperialism

By Julie Hyland, 7 July 2016

The Chilcot report provides conclusive proof that those responsible for the war have the blood of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, on their hands.

Behind US proposal for military cooperation with Russia

Washington plans escalation of war for regime-change in Syria

By Thomas Gaist, 5 July 2016

Both the Democratic and Republican presumptive presidential candidates have declared their support for intensified bombing and the imposition of a no-fly zone directed against the Syrian regime and its Russian backers.

Terror attacks shake US-backed Baghdad regime

By Thomas Gaist, 4 July 2016

At least 125 Iraqis were killed by a massive car bomb explosion in Baghdad Saturday, underscoring the crisis of the US-backed Iraq state

Reports of sectarian massacres as Fallujah falls to Iraqi government

By James Cogan, 20 June 2016

The Iraqi forces are being accompanied by US, British and Australian military “advisors.”

State Department “dissent” memo backs escalation of regime-change war in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 18 June 2016

The memo has ratcheted up tensions with Moscow while providing a glimpse of what may prove to be the policy of the next US administration.

After Tel Aviv attacks, Israel launches police-state crackdown

By Thomas Gaist, 10 June 2016

The Netanyahu government has deployed hundreds of additional troops to the West Bank and imposed punitive travel restrictions on more than 80,000 Palestinian civilians.

Fallujah: A symbol of US war crimes

By James Cogan, 8 June 2016

The humanitarian disaster that is unfolding in Fallujah is the product of the US-led invasion in 2003 and Washington’s deliberate stoking of sectarian conflict in the face of determined Iraqi resistance.

US-backed offensive against Fallujah threatens “human catastrophe”

By Bill Van Auken, 1 June 2016

The siege of the Iraqi city has exposed the deep sectarian fault lines in Iraq that are the product of the US occupation and its divide-and-rule tactics.

Thousands of civilians in danger as US-backed forces mount offensives in Iraq and Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 26 May 2016

The offensives launched by US-backed forces on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border threaten to deepen the region’s crisis.

Refugees shot by Turkish border guards

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 17 May 2016

According to eyewitness reports published by Human Rights Watch, at least five people were shot or beaten to death by Turkish border guards on the country’s border with Syria in March and April.

Hollande sheds crocodile tears over refugees in Lebanon visit

By Kumaran Ira, 19 April 2016

French President François Hollande began his four-day trip to the Middle East, visiting Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, to boost economic and military ties amidst escalating war.

Plan B: CIA prepares to arm Syrian “rebels” with antiaircraft weapons

By Bill Van Auken, 14 April 2016

Washington is warning that if it is unable to achieve regime change through UN-brokered talks, it will drastically escalate the Syrian bloodbath.

Saudi onslaught against Yemen continues amid official cease-fire

By Thomas Gaist, 13 April 2016

Yet another UN-brokered “cease-fire” in Yemen has failed to effect even a temporary halt to the violence that has left more than 6,000 Yemenis dead

UK documentary exposes Saudi role in global terror operations

By Jean Shaoul, 5 April 2016

The Saudi ruling family spent $70 billion exporting its particularly repressive form of Islamism through books, the media, Islamic welfare institutions and charities.

Military chiefs seize on Brussels attacks to send more US troops to Iraq

By Thomas Gaist, 29 March 2016

More than four years after the official end of the US occupation of Iraq, and with a current presence of some 5,000 troops, military leaders are calling for additional military assets.

Historic city of Palmyra falls to Syrian government forces

By Thomas Gaist, 28 March 2016

The renewed push by the Syrian military, aided by Russian air cover, followed last week’s visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to Moscow.

Hundreds of US Marines provide combat support as Iraqi forces advance toward Mosul

By Thomas Gaist, 25 March 2016

Two weeks after secretly deploying to northern Iraq, US Marines are pounding Iraqi villages in support of an Iraqi government offensive overseen by US advisors.

Arson attack on witness to murders in Palestinian village of Duma

By Jean Shaoul, 23 March 2016

The fire was clearly aimed at intimidating the witnesses in the forthcoming trial.

The terror bombings in Brussels

By Alex Lantier, 23 March 2016

This horrific attack targeted innocent people in no way responsible for the imperialist wars that have devastated the Middle East.

Teachers take strike action against Palestinian Authority

By Jean Shaoul, 12 March 2016

The strike by thousands of teachers over miserable pay, one of the largest mass strikes ever seen in the West Bank, has been met with repression from the Palestinian Authority.

Washington steps up threats over Iran missile tests

By Bill Van Auken, 11 March 2016

While the tests by Iran do not violate the nuclear accord, Washington sees them as an intolerable affront to its drive for hegemony.

US generals push for more troops in Iraq, Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 10 March 2016

In congressional testimony, a top commander made clear that the US intervention is aimed not merely at ISIS, but at Iran and Russia as well.

Syria fighting continues into third day of US-Russian “truce”

By Thomas Gaist, 29 February 2016

US war planes continue to strike targets throughout large areas of the country, while American commandos organized offensive operations by an array of proxy forces.

More than 100 killed in ISIS suicide bombings in Syria

By Niles Williamson, 22 February 2016

The devastating attacks in Homs and Damascus came just hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry announced a tentative ceasefire, for the second time in two weeks.

Saudi Arabia cancels $3 billion grant for French military aid to Lebanon

By Kumaran Ira, 22 February 2016

Saudi Arabia’s decision to halt military aid to Lebanon points to escalating tensions across the Middle East unleashed by the war drive in Syria.

Egypt: Italian student tortured to death

By Johannes Stern, 17 February 2016

Evidence is mounting that the Egyptian military used bestial methods to torture student and journalist Giulio Regeni to death.

Syria fighting escalates as ceasefire deadline approaches

By Bill Van Auken, 16 February 2016

The intensifying clashes on the Syrian-Turkish border have placed the five-year-old conflict in Syria on a hair trigger for provoking a global confrontation.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

12 February 2016

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

New York Times vents recriminations over Syria debacle

By Bill Van Auken, 9 February 2016

Roger Cohen’s hysterical column expresses rage within sections of the military and intelligence apparatus over the fate of the US regime-change operation.

Geneva talks begin as US-backed war in Syria expands

By Bill Van Auken, 2 February 2016

The opening of the talks was overshadowed by a vicious bombing attack on a Shia shrine outside the Syrian capital of Damascus.

Netherlands to begin bombing Islamic State in Syria

By Josh Varlin, 2 February 2016

Prime Minister Rutte’s announcement of the decision to begin bombing ISIS in Syria marks a dramatic escalation of the Netherlands’ involvement in the US-led campaign.

Europe joins the economic “gold rush” to Tehran

By Peter Symonds, 30 January 2016

Iranian President Rouhani’s trip to Europe signals that Iran is wide open for foreign investors following this month’s lifting of international sanctions.

On eve of Syria “peace talks,” Washington threatens escalation across region

By Bill Van Auken, 25 January 2016

Top US officials have declared that they are prepared to seek a “military solution” in Syria, put “boots on the ground” in Iraq and launch another US-NATO war in Libya.

Turkish invasion threat escalates Syrian conflict

By Bill Van Auken, 22 January 2016

The reports of Turkish incursions into northern Syria come amid heightened tensions between Ankara and Moscow.

“Staggering” violence in Iraq: The legacy of US war and occupation

By Bill Van Auken, 21 January 2016

From January 1, 2014 through October 31, 2015, the UN recorded at least 55,047 civilian casualties, while warning that the real toll could be much higher.

Iran releases US sailors in run-up to nuclear sanction relief

By Bill Van Auken, 14 January 2016

The incident served to highlight the deep divisions within the US political establishment over the nuclear deal.

US Navy vessels impounded in Iranian waters

By Keith Jones, 13 January 2016

US Republicans seized on yesterday’s incident to repeat their charge that Obama is “appeasing” Tehran and demand a renewed campaign of economic sanctions and military threats against Iran.

Turkey and Western powers escalate war rhetoric in response to Istanbul attack

By Thomas Gaist, 13 January 2016

Tuesday’s suicide attack in the heart of Istanbul has provoked an outburst of war threats and moralizing from the Turkish and NATO elites.

Israel’s shoot-to-kill policy against Palestinians

By Jean Shaoul, 12 January 2016

Around 46 Palestinians have been killed during demonstrations and clashes with the security forces by a single shot to the head or chest.

US-armed Saudi coalition cancels ceasefire, renews military onslaught in Yemen

By Thomas Gaist, 6 January 2016

The US government has helped coordinate the Saudi-led war against Yemen, which has already killed thousands of civilians and reduced large sections of the population to starvation.

US threatens new sanctions on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 4 January 2016

Washington’s threat is particularly provocative as it came just days after Tehran fulfilled a key aspect of last July’s nuclear deal—to ship its enriched uranium to Russia.

US-backed Iraqi forces recapture Ramadi from ISIS

By James Cogan, 29 December 2015

Amidst boasting by Iraqi Prime Minister of the “liberation” of Ramadi, even the sanitised media footage shows scenes of utter devastation.

US air strike kills 12 Iraqi civilians

By Bill Van Auken, 23 December 2015

The latest death toll from the US bombing campaign came as Iraqi troops and militias entered the ISIS-held city of Ramadi.

Canadian Special Forces battle ISIS militants as calls grow for expanded war

By Roger Jordan, 21 December 2015

Canada’s media is becoming increasingly shrill in its demand that Trudeau renege on his election pledge to recall Canada’s fighter jets from the Iraq-Syria war.

UN resolution papers over deep divisions on Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 19 December 2015

The resolution adopted Friday left open the future of Assad and the distinction between opposition and terrorist groups.

Obama vows expanded war in Syria

By Joseph Kishore, 15 December 2015

In remarks at the Pentagon, President Obama sought to counter his critics within the political establishment by vowing to escalate US military operations in Syria.

Syria claims US airstrikes targeted government forces

By Thomas Gaist, 8 December 2015

Reports of the first direct US strikes against Syrian government forces come as hundreds of Turkish forces massed in Iraq in defiance of Baghdad’s call for their withdrawal.

The new imperialist carve-up of the Middle East

By Joseph Kishore, 7 December 2015

The reasons presented to the public for the rapid escalation of war in Syria have little to do with the strategic discussions taking place in top ranks of the military and the intelligence agencies.

Israel: Netanyahu capitalises on Paris bombings

By Jean Shaoul, 19 November 2015

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is using the terrorist attacks in Paris to ramp up tensions in pursuit of Israel’s geostrategic interests.

Turkey after the elections

By Peter Schwarz, 7 November 2015

Erdoğan’s AKP government is a regime of crisis. The wars carried out by the US and its imperialist allies have shattered the social and political structures of the entire region.

Israel: Racist mob lynches migrant as violence intensifies

By Jean Shaoul, 21 October 2015

Ultra-nationalist Jewish politicians have encouraged the mobilisation of vigilante groups and fascistic mobs that go on the rampage while the police stand and watch.

Obama backs Israeli crackdown in Jerusalem

By Patrick Martin, 17 October 2015

Israeli security forces have killed 37 Palestinians since October 1, mostly teenage youth shot down for throwing rocks at Israeli police and soldiers.

Unifor demands NDP keep silent on Canada-Saudi Arabia arms deal

By Carl Bronski, 13 October 2015

The opposition parties’ unwillingness to attack the government over the Saudi arms deal demonstrates their fear of raising any issue which could endanger Canada’s alliance with the US.

Israeli forces step up repression in Jerusalem, West Bank

By Jean Shaoul, 10 October 2015

Nearly 2,000 Palestinians have been wounded in dozens of violent clashes with Israeli troops, police and settlers over the past week.

Obama-Putin meeting highlights crisis of US policy in Syria

By Barry Grey, 30 September 2015

The twists and turns of US policy reflect massive contradictions in Washington’s Middle East agenda and fierce divisions within the foreign policy and military-intelligence establishment.

Poll shows 81 percent of Syrians believe US created ISIS

By Bill Van Auken, 18 September 2015

Half of those surveyed oppose US airstrikes, and only 21 percent believe their lives are better now than before the Western-orchestrated civil war in Syria.

In wake of bloody factory bombing

Saudi Arabia and UAE prepare for major US-backed ground offensive in Yemen

By Niles Williamson, 1 September 2015

Five months of airstrikes, facilitated by US military intelligence and logistical support, have been supplemented by a growing ground invasion by Saudi and UAE military forces.

Mass protests against failing infrastructure shake Lebanon

By Jean Shaoul, 1 September 2015

Protests demanding the treatment of uncollected trash also express opposition to Lebanon’s endemic corruption and its sectarian system of government.

Yemen faces humanitarian crisis as US-backed assault continues

By Niles Williamson, 20 August 2015

Reports released this week document the devastating impact of the Saudi-led onslaught on Yemen, which has killed hundreds of children and limited access to food, water and medicine.

New York Times uses rape allegations to promote a wider war in the Middle East

By Barry Grey, 15 August 2015

Rape was not a serious problem before Washington intervened to occupy Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein, overthrow and murder Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and ignite a sectarian civil war in Syria.

Turkish government steps up repression of political opponents

By Halil Celik and Jean Shaoul, 12 August 2015

Police have violently broken up peaceful antiwar demonstrations, and the government has blocked more than 90 news websites.

Abadi announces reforms aimed at “decentralization” of Iraq

By Thomas Gaist, 11 August 2015

Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi’s political reforms are based on a strategy worked out in coordination with the Obama administration during the opening months of 2015.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 August 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Over 450 civilians killed by US-led air strikes in Iraq and Syria

By Will Morrow, 5 August 2015

The real death toll is undoubtedly far higher, because the US and its allies cover up all evidence of civilian deaths.

Clashes erupt on West Bank after child is murdered by Zionist settlers

By Thomas Gaist, 1 August 2015

Friday’s arson attack bears the hallmarks of previous atrocities committed by religious nationalist forces.

The Iran nuclear pact and US imperialism’s drive for global hegemony

By Keith Jones, 21 July 2015

Obama’s “engagement” with Iran is a strategic bet that through a combination of pressure and inducements US imperialism will be able to harness Tehran to its predatory agenda.

UK defence secretary admits flouting parliamentary ban on military involvement in Syrian war

By Chris Marsden, 21 July 2015

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon used the parliamentary debate to propagandize for war.

UN Security Council approves pact on Iranian nuclear programs

By Peter Symonds, 21 July 2015

Despite the UN vote, the nuclear pact still faces concerted opposition in the US Congress and political establishment.

Iran signals closer collaboration with West

By Peter Symonds, 18 July 2015

While hardliners have expressed some opposition to this week’s nuclear agreement, significant layers of business are already positioning themselves for the lifting of sanctions.

Obama at the Pentagon: No end to ISIS war

By Thomas Gaist, 7 July 2015

Flanked by a phalanx of military officials and commanders, Obama outlined a perspective of endless war in Iraq, Syria and beyond.

Canada’s participation in US military-strategic offensives grows

By Roger Jordan, 7 July 2015

Ottawa is integrating Canada ever more fully into Washington’s main military-strategic offensives against Russia, China and the Middle East.

Egyptian air force bombs Sinai after heavy clashes with ISIS affiliate

By Thomas Gaist, 3 July 2015

The strikes left at least 23 dead, one day after heavy fighting in the peninsula between government troops and Islamist forces killed some 120 people.

Turkey, Jordan discuss moves to seize territory in Syria

By Thomas Gaist, 1 July 2015

Turkish and Jordanian military forces are on the brink of intervening in Syria to establish occupation zones in the northern and southern areas of the country.

Iran nuclear talks to go past June 30 deadline

By Keith Jones, 29 June 2015

The US is threatening to walk away from the talks unless Tehran capitulates to its demands for further sweeping concessions.

UN report details Israeli war crimes in Gaza

By Jean Shaoul, 24 June 2015

The UN commission recognised that the death and destruction carried out by Israel last year followed the atrocities of previous wars on Gaza and Lebanon.

As cease-fire talks in Geneva collapse

Renewed Saudi-led bombardment kills, wounds dozens of Yemeni civilians

By Thomas Gaist, 22 June 2015

Saudi and Gulf forces pounded targets across Yemen over the weekend after negotiations between Saudi and Houthi leaders ended without any deal on Friday.

The US arming of ISIS

By Bill Van Auken, 3 June 2015

Underlying the massive rearmament of ISIS forces with captured US weapons are the contradictory and vastly destructive policies pursued by US imperialism.

Pentagon chief hints at shift in US policy in war with ISIS

By Patrick Martin, 25 May 2015

In an interview with CNN, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that the ISIS victory at Ramadi showed that Iraqi government forces did not have the “will to fight.”

The fall of Ramadi and the criminality of US imperialism

By Bill Van Auken, 20 May 2015

The threat of both a sectarian bloodbath and region-wide war is the byproduct of Washington’s predatory interventions in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabian monarchy calls for more executioners

By Niles Williamson, 20 May 2015

The US-backed kingdom is in desperate need of swordsmen as it is on pace to more than double the number of beheadings carried out last year.

Yemen war rages on through first day of humanitarian “cease-fire”

By Thomas Gaist, 14 May 2015

From the beginning, the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen has been backed by the United States, which is determined to retain control over the geostrategically critical country.

Soldiers reveal Israeli war crimes in 2014 Gaza assault

By Jean Shaoul, 14 May 2015

A recent report alleges that the Israel Defence Force reduced whole neighbourhoods to rubble for no clear operational reason, just to “demonstrate presence in the area.”

The bin Laden assassination and the lies of the “war on terror”

By Patrick Martin, 13 May 2015

The latest exposure by Seymour Hersh dismantles the official story of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, exposing systematic lying by the US government and the media.

War in the Middle East, imperialism and the lessons of the Egyptian Revolution

By Johannes Stern, 9 May 2015

This speech was delivered by Johannes Stern, leading member of the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit in Germany, to the May 3 International May Day Online Rally.
Link to audio

Netanyahu forms far-right coalition government in Israel

By Jean Shaoul, 8 May 2015

Netanyahu’s maneuvers leaves him in charge of a fractious cabinet and subject to blackmailing by his partners in pursuit of their own interests.

Record number of internally displaced people globally in 2014

By Niles Williamson, 7 May 2015

A record 38 million people were displaced within the borders of their own country by ongoing conflicts through the end of 2014.

US-Al Qaeda offensive against Syrian regime

By Patrick Martin, 29 April 2015

An alliance of anti-Assad rebels, led by the al-Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda, is armed with US-supplied TOW anti-tank missiles.

Australian government to share intelligence with Iranian regime

By Peter Symonds, 24 April 2015

The foreign minister’s mission in Tehran was to feel out the possibilities for Washington for greater collaboration with Iran in securing US interests in the Middle East.

White House and Congress reach deal over Iran nuclear talks

By Thomas Gaist, 17 April 2015

The Obama administration signaled approval Tuesday for legislation that would give Congress a role in the event that a deal is reached on Iran’s nuclear program.

Report documents carnage of US drone war in Yemen

By Niles Williamson, 17 April 2015

A report released this week documents nine separate instances in which workers, merchants, pregnant women and children were either killed or wounded by American airstrikes.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

17 April 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Iranian regime cautiously embraces international nuclear deal

By Peter Symonds, 10 April 2015

Public criticism has been largely limited to the terms of the agreement, with no prominent figure calling for an end to the talks.

NDP opposes Canada’s role in Mideast war on tactical grounds

By Roger Jordan, 10 April 2015

The debate over Canada’s participation in the US-led war in the Middle East has once again demonstrated that the New Democrats are a pro-imperialist party.

Obama defends Iran nuclear pact as Pentagon prepares for war

By Bill Van Auken, 7 April 2015

The Pentagon tested a new “bunker-buster” bomb, the most destructive non-nuclear weapon it has, to ensure Washington is “able to provide military options for Iran.”

Iran nuclear deal: US prepares for new wars

By Peter Symonds, 6 April 2015

The agreement with Iran does not represent a US turn towards peace, but is aimed at buttressing Washington’s position as it plans for war with Russia and China.