Uprisings in the Middle East

Anti-Assad protests enter fifth month in Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 28 July 2011

The regime of President Bashar al-Assad has deployed tens of thousands of troops to quell the growing protest movement, now in its fifth month.

Hundreds wounded in crackdown against antigovernment protests in Egypt

By our reporter, 25 July 2011

Thousands of protesters opposed to the US-backed military regime of General Mohammed Hussein Tantawi in Egypt clashed with pro-government thugs during demonstrations on Saturday.

Egyptian military delays election as opposition mounts

By Patrick Martin, 22 July 2011

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is seeking to remain in control of the Egyptian government.

Mass protests continue against Egyptian regime

By Niall Green, 16 July 2011

Huge protests took place across Egypt on Friday, as thousands gathered to oppose military government and demand the prosecution of officials.

Attacks on US and French embassies used to step up pressure on Syrian regime

By Niall Green, 15 July 2011

Last week’s meeting of French and US ambassadors with opposition activists in Syria signaled a sharp escalation of tensions with the Assad regime.

Anti-Assad protests as “national dialogue” launched in Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 11 July 2011

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets Friday to voice their opposition to President Basher al-Assad’s Ba’ath party dictatorship and to reject his phoney “national dialogue” conference that started yesterday in Damascus.

Mass protests mark “Friday of Determination” in Egypt

By Jonathan Aswan and Alex Lantier, 9 July 2011

Cities across Egypt saw the largest demonstrations yesterday since the revolutionary struggles that forced the resignation of US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak on February 11.

Mass protest in Egypt calls for “second revolution”

By Jonathan Aswan, 8 July 2011

Hundreds of thousands of workers and youth are expected to turn out to the streets today in protests dubbed “Friday of Persistence” or “The Revolution and the Poor first”.

Egyptians protest state defense of police violence

By Patrick Martin, 6 July 2011

Protests have erupted in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria demanding the jailing of police accused of large-scale violence during the revolutionary movement that forced out longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Protests, strikes continue against military junta in Egypt

By Jonathan Aswan, 4 July 2011

On Friday tens of thousands of workers and youth went to the streets in at least five governorates in Egypt to denounce the politics of the US-backed military junta and its leader, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi.

Syrian protests spread against Assad regime

By Jean Shaoul, 4 July 2011

At least 28 protesters were killed Friday, as security forces opened fire on what were the largest demonstrations since political unrest first gripped Syria four months ago.

Egyptian military carries out bloody crackdown on protests

By Joseph Kishore and Jonathan Aswan, 30 June 2011

Over one thousand have been injured in clashes that began Tuesday and continued into Wednesday morning, with protesters demanding the ouster of the Egyptian military regime.

Tunisian interim government delays Constituent Assembly elections

By Kumaran Ira, 29 June 2011

On June 8, the interim Tunisian government decided to postpone the Constituent Assembly elections to October 23.

US strives to engineer post-Saleh regime in Yemen

By Niall Green, 29 June 2011

As fighting continues in Yemen, with US warplanes and drones striking targets inside the country, Washington is working to form a pliant regime in the country.

Bahrain: Show trial sentences critics of regime

By Niall Green, 23 June 2011

A military court in the US-allied monarchy of Bahrain has handed down lengthy prison sentences to 21 people involved in anti-government protests earlier this year.

Syria repression stepped up after Assad speech

By Patrick Martin, 22 June 2011

Assad made his usual promises of reform, combined with threats of violent repression.

US and Egyptian bourgeoisie close ranks as workers’ struggles continue

By Jonathan Aswan, 20 June 2011

In recent weeks and days, the revolutionary struggle of the Egyptian working class has witnessed a new upsurge.

US steps up air strikes as conflict deepens in Yemen

By Niall Green, 17 June 2011

As heavy fighting between the government and opposition militants continued in Yemen, the US carried out further air strikes in the south of the country.

Egypt’s military regime prepares clampdown on strike wave

By Harvey Thompson, 17 June 2011

The upsurge of industrial struggle by Egyptian workers that preceded the January revolution shows no sign of diminishing.

US-backed Bahrain regime stages military trial of doctors and nurses

By Bill Van Auken, 15 June 2011

The US-backed dictatorship in Bahrain proceeded this week with the military trial of 47 doctors and nurses rounded up during mass protests last March.

Syrian crackdown deepens as fighting threatens to spread

By Jean Shaoul, 14 June 2011

The brutal crackdown being waged by Bashar al-Assad’s Ba’athist regime against protests in Syria has caused an estimated 10,000 Syrians to flee Jisr al-Shughour into Turkey.

Yemen: US continues military campaign as talks fail

By Niall Green, 13 June 2011

Talks between the government of Yemen and opposition parties broke down on Sunday amid ongoing deadly clashes across the country and a campaign of aerial bombardment by US forces.

Syria slides toward civil war

By Barry Grey, 11 June 2011

Amid continuing protests, mounting state repression and escalating pressure from the US and the European powers, there are growing signs that Syria is sliding toward civil war.

Washington exploits uprising to escalate secret war in Yemen

By Bill Van Auken, 10 June 2011

The Obama administration has seized upon the popular upheavals in Yemen to step up bombings and missile attacks against alleged al-Qaeda militants, effectively opening up yet another war in the region.

Amid savage crackdown on protest, Obama welcomes Bahrain prince

By David Walsh, 10 June 2011

Bahrain’s crown prince, Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, visited Washington this week and met with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Egyptian bourgeoisie and pseudo-left oppose a “second revolution”

By Jonathan Aswan, 10 June 2011

On May 27, hundreds of thousands workers and youth demonstrated across Egypt against the military junta which took power after Mubarak's ouster on February 11.

Syrian regime intensifies repression as protests mount

By Barry Grey, 8 June 2011

The Syrian regime has threatened a military crackdown against the town of Jisr al-Shughour, after claiming that “armed gangs” killed 120 members of the security forces there.

Imperialist powers step up intervention in Yemen

By Niall Green, 8 June 2011

As fighting between pro- and anti-government forces continues in Yemen, the major powers are maneuvering to secure their interests in the strategically vital country.

President of Yemen flees to Saudi Arabia

By Patrick Martin, 6 June 2011

Mystery still surrounds the Friday morning explosion at the presidential compound that killed 11 bodyguards and seriously wounded President Ali Abdullah Saleh and a dozen other top government officials.

Yemen fighting wounds president and prime minister

By Patrick Martin, 4 June 2011

Rockets fired by an anti-government militia struck the presidential compound, killing at least seven people, and wounding President Ali Abdullah Saleh and many other top government officials.

Heavy fighting in capital of Yemen

By Patrick Martin, 3 June 2011

Heavy fighting between anti-government rebels and forces loyal to president Ali Abdullah Saleh raged through Wednesday night and into Thursday in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. Dozens of people were believed killed, many of them civilians caught in the crossfire between tribal militiamen and various factions of army troops.

Egyptian doctors threaten to renew strike

By Harvey Thompson, 3 June 2011

Hundreds of doctors marched from the doctors’ syndicate to the Egyptian Cabinet offices with their unmet demands on May 29, threatening to go back on strike.

Yemeni regime kills dozens in Taiz and Sana’a, bombs southern city

By David Walsh, 1 June 2011

The embattled regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen stepped up its campaign of repression Monday and Tuesday, resulting in the deaths of dozens of protesters and civilians.

Mass protests demand “second revolution” in Egypt

By Patrick Martin, 28 May 2011

Demonstrations Friday brought huge crowds back to Tahrir Square in Cairo and in dozens of other cities throughout Egypt.

Syria becomes centre of struggle for regional influence

By Jean Shaoul, 28 May 2011

With the failure of the anti-government movement to make significant headway against President Bashar al-Assad’s Ba’athist regime, there are now regional efforts to bolster the disparate and fractious opposition forces.

G8 summit: major powers discuss how to contain “Arab Spring”

By Bill Van Auken, 27 May 2011

The G8 summit opened in France with discussion on a response to the so-called “Arab Spring” that has seen mass uprisings against Western-backed regimes.

Death toll soars in fighting in Yemeni capital

By Patrick Martin, 27 May 2011

More than 100 people have been killed in four days by fighting between anti-government militiamen and forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Gun battles erupt in Yemeni capital after Saleh refuses to step down

By Bill Van Auken, 24 May 2011

At least 18 people were killed and many more wounded in gun battles that erupted Monday in the Yemeni capital after the dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh reneged on a deal to step down.

Egyptian “left” parties seek alliance with bourgeoisie

By Johannes Stern, 21 May 2011

As the Egyptian revolution reaches a crucial turning point, a group of parties calling themselves “left” and even “socialist” have united to form an alliance with the bourgeoisie, which in turn backs the ruling military junta.

Tunisian regime creates electoral commission amid mass strikes

By Kumaran Ira, 17 May 2011

Last Monday, the Tunisian interim government announced the formation of the independent electoral committee to oversee the July 24 election of a constituent assembly.

Syrian regime continues to use lethal force against protests

By Jean Shaoul, 16 May 2011

President Bashar al-Assad’s Ba’athist regime persisted in its lethal crackdown on dissent over the weekend.

Syrian government widens crackdown

By Jean Shaoul, 13 May 2011

Bashar al-Assad’s Ba’athist regime has deployed its armed forces to crush protests spreading from the small towns and villages around Dara’a and Baniyas, to the central cities of Homs and Hama.

Yemen security forces kill dozens more protesters

By David Walsh, 13 May 2011

Yemeni security forces violently attacked anti-government demonstrators Wednesday and Thursday in numerous cities around the impoverished Middle Eastern country.

Nationwide doctors’ strike in Egypt

By Harvey Thompson, 13 May 2011

A nationwide doctors’ strike began May 10 in governmental clinics and hospitals.

Sectarian conflict in Cairo between Muslims and Coptic Christians

By Jean Shaoul, 11 May 2011

At least 12 people died Saturday night in sectarian fighting outside the Coptic Saint Mena Church in Imbaba, a Cairo suburb.

Bahrain tries 21 activists on trumped-up charges

By Niall Green, 11 May 2011

The US-backed Bahraini dictatorship has begun kangaroo court proceedings against 21 people involved in the recent anti-government protests.

Friday demonstrations in Syria met with violent repression

By Jean Shaoul, 7 May 2011

Syrian security forces killed 10 people in the central city of Homs and 5 in Hama following demonstrations and marches on Friday after midday prayers.

Syrian government widens crackdown

By Jean Shaoul, 5 May 2011

The Ba’athist government of President Bashar al-Assad has expanded its military crackdown and mounted a campaign of intimidation against opposition to the regime.

Growing wave of strikes in Egypt

By our correspondent, 5 May 2011

Strikes are continuing in numerous plants across Egypt in defiance of the military junta’s prohibition of strikes and protests.

Yemen president torpedoes agreement to leave office

By Patrick Martin, 4 May 2011

President Ali Abdullah Saleh reneged on an agreement to step down after 32 years in power.

Syrian demonstrators shot in protests over crackdown

By Bill Van Auken, 30 April 2011

Thousands of Syrians took to the streets Friday, including in the capital of Damascus, defying the attempt to crush protests with police-military violence.

Bahraini military court sentences four protesters to die

By David Walsh, 30 April 2011

A Bahraini military court Thursday condemned four young anti-government protesters to death at the conclusion of a shameless frame-up trial. Three others were sentenced to life in prison.

NATO bomb attack on Libya kills Misrata “rebel” fighters

By Patrick O’Connor, 29 April 2011

The “friendly fire” incident underscores the bogus character of the claims by Washington and Brussels that their “precision” bombing raids are aimed at protecting the Libyan people.

US steps up pressure against Syria

By Joseph Kishore, 26 April 2011

The US and European powers are working to exploit unrest and protests in Syria to advance their own interests in the region.

US State Department human rights reports

Gulf allies: A record of repression and torture

Part 3: Bahrain

By Ed Hightower, 25 April 2011

The US State Department recently released its “2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.” This year’s annual report provides details on human rights conditions in over 190 countries. Included are reports on the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which represents the US-backed monarchies of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

Syrian regime extends crackdown on protests

By Jean Shaoul, 25 April 2011

Syrian security forces followed up Friday’s brutal assault on demonstrations by intensifying the crackdown and firing on funeral processions held Saturday for the victims.

New effort to force Yemeni president from office

By Niall Green, 25 April 2011

Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has reportedly accepted a deal to leave office, handing over power to his deputy and a new coalition government.

Human rights groups condemn repression in Bahrain

By Niall Green, 25 April 2011

Physicians for Human Rights issued a declaration on Friday condemning the abuse and intimidation of protesters and medical workers in the Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain.

Dozens killed in Syrian protests

By the Bill Van Auken, 23 April 2011

Dozens of protesters were killed in Syria Friday as security forces opened fire on demonstrations called one day after President Bashar al-Assad enacted partial concessions aimed at quelling the unrest.

US seeks to exploit anti-Assad movement in Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 21 April 2011

For the past several years, the US State Department has secretly funded Syrian opposition parties, civil rights groups and a satellite TV channel in the name of “democracy building” as part of a wider US programme targeting the Middle East.

Bahraini regime pursues savage repression

By David Walsh, 21 April 2011

The regime of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in Bahrain is continuing its reign of terror against political opponents. According to human rights organizations, nearly 1,000 people have been arrested or are missing.

France blocks train carrying Tunisian refugees from Italy

By Antoine Lerougetel, 20 April 2011

Last Sunday French border police blocked rail traffic between France and Italy to prevent Tunisian immigrants from entering France via Italy.

More violent attacks on protesters in Yemen

By David Walsh, 19 April 2011

Security forces attacked tens of thousands of peaceful demonstrators in Hudaida in south-central Yemen on Monday, reportedly wounding at least 88. Over the weekend, as many as a million Yemenis rallied against the government.

Saudi protests against Bahrain invasion, repression

By Bill Van Auken, 16 April 2011

Hundreds protested in Saudi Arabia Friday demanding an end to the Saudi occupation of Bahrain and the release of the dictatorial kingdom’s political prisoners.

Mass protests continue in Yemen, as official opposition conspires with US, Gulf states

By David Walsh, 15 April 2011

Yemen witnessed massive protests April 13, some of the largest yet in the wave of anti-government demonstrations that began in mid-January.

Strikes and protests by Egyptian workers

By Harvey Thompson, 15 April 2011

Strikes and protests by workers across Egypt continued this week, with many calling for improved wages and working conditions while others attempted to block moves that would reduce their income or restrict their prospects.

Egyptian junta steps up violence as protests and strikes continue

By our correspondent, 14 April 2011

The non-ending stream of strikes and protests by Egyptian workers has unnerved the military junta, which is responding with increasing violence.

Mubarak and sons detained as Egypt’s military continues crackdown

By Bill Van Auken, 14 April 2011

Ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak and his two sons have been detained for 15 days while Egyptian prosecutors conduct an investigation into their multi-billion-dollar embezzlement and corruption.

Conflict intensifies in Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 14 April 2011

The Assad regime has stepped up its clampdown on demonstrators calling for democracy and an end to corruption.

US-backed Bahrain regime tortures, murders critics

By David Walsh, 13 April 2011

The regime of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in Bahrain, which the Obama administration backs to the hilt, is continuing its violent repression of political opposition.

Egyptian military storm peaceful protest in Tahrir Square

By our correspondent, 12 April 2011

Tens of thousands gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square chanted: “The people want the overthrow of the field marshal” and “the people want to overthrow the regime”.

Egyptian military kills protesters in Cairo

By Niall Green, 11 April 2011

In the early hours of Saturday morning, Egypt’s US-backed military junta launched a bloody attack on protesters in Cairo’s symbolic Tahrir Square.

State crackdown claims scores of lives in Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 11 April 2011

The Syrian government has cracked down hard on protesters who took to the streets in many parts of the country after prayers on Friday and Saturday, using tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition.

US-backed regime in Yemen carries out new slaughter of protesters

By David Walsh, 5 April 2011

The Saleh regime in Yemen continues to enjoy the support of the Obama administration despite repeated massacres.

Over one hundred thousand protest military rule in Egypt

By our correspondent, 4 April 2011

Strikes and demonstrations against deplorable working conditions are accompanying mounting protests against the anti-strike legislation and interim constitution of Egypt’s ruling military junta.

Protests, repression continue in Bahrain and Yemen

By Niall Green, 4 April 2011

Even as Washington and the European powers bomb Libya on supposed “humanitarian” grounds, the US-backed regimes in Yemen and Bahrain are continuing their brutal crackdown on protesters.

The war on Libya: a new eruption of imperialist rivalry

By Nick Beams, 2 April 2011

Not since the 1930s, in the lead-up to World War II, have the conflicting economic and strategic interests of the rival imperialist powers been so openly pursued as they are in the war on Libya.

Clashes follow Friday prayers in Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 2 April 2011

Syrian security forces fired on a small demonstration calling for freedom after Friday prayers in Douma, a southern suburb of Damascus, reportedly killing four people and injuring others.

Syrian president delays reforms, demands national unity against protests

By Alex Lantier, 1 April 2011

President Bashir al-Assad spoke at the People’s Assembly in Damascus Wednesday, ahead of protests scheduled for today, to appeal for national unity while making no further concessions to popular demands for political change. Syria has been ruled under emergency laws since 1963, the year a coup placed the Ba’athist party in power.

Syrian government resigns amid continuing unrest

By Jean Shaoul, 30 March 2011

Syria’s government had resigned in an effort to counter the wave of protests calling for political reform.

Tunisian Reform Commission defends capitalist regime

By Kumaran Ira and Alex Lantier, 30 March 2011

On March 26 Tunisia’s Commission for the Achievement of the Objectives of the Revolution and the Democratic Transition was enlarged from 70 to 130 members in a closed-door session.

Yemen’s Saleh seeks deal with bourgeois opposition

By Niall Green, 28 March 2011

As protests continue across Yemen, President Saleh holds out for a deal with opposition figures. Meanwhile, in Bahrain, the monarchy continues its crackdown on demonstrators.

Syrian regime calls out army against protests

By Patrick Martin, 28 March 2011

At least 20 demonstrators were killed and 200 wounded in the port city of Latakia.

Protests against counter-revolution in Egypt

By a correspondent, 28 March 2011

The demonstrators who ousted President Hosni Mubarak now realise that the trust they had in the Egyptian army was misplaced and that their revolution is far from over.

Israel responds to Middle East unrest with provocations

By Jean Shaoul, 26 March 2011

On Wednesday, a bomb exploded at a stop by the main bus station in Jerusalem, killing a 59-year-old British woman and wounding at least 24 other people.

Assad regime guns down protesters in Syria

By Patrick Martin, 26 March 2011

Anti-government demonstrations broke out Friday throughout Syria.

Egyptian workers face US-backed counter-revolution

By Bill Van Auken, 25 March 2011

The promulgation this week in Egypt of a decree banning strikes and protests has laid bare the real character of the military-controlled regime that succeeded the US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Syria cracks down on growing unrest

By Jean Shaoul, 24 March 2011

Syrian security forces have cracked down on growing anti-government protests in the southern city of Dara’a with increasing brutality.

Yemen ruling elite fractures as uprising continues

By Niall Green, 23 March 2011

Senior figures in the Yemeni elite have moved against President Saleh, seeking to maintain their own wealth, power and relations to US imperialism.

Egyptian constitutional referendum passes amid low turnout

By Stefan Steinberg, 22 March 2011

The thoroughly fraudulent and undemocratic nature of Saturday’s referendum in Egypt was the declaration from the Supreme Military Council that in the event of a no vote it would impose its own constitution until a new one is drafted.

Top Yemeni general calls for ouster of president

By Andre Damon, 22 March 2011

Five high-level generals in Yemen, including Ali Mohsen, the country’s top military figure, announced their support for the country’s opposition movement Monday, calling for the ouster of president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

US, France and Britain launch war of aggression against Libya

By Patrick Martin, 21 March 2011

Bombs and missiles have already killed hundreds of Libyan soldiers and civilians.

Strikes and protests in Bahrain defy regime crackdown

By Niall Green, 21 March 2011

A strike wave is growing and demonstrations continue in Bahrain, despite brutal attempts by the regime to put down the uprising.

Obama issues ultimatum in advance of air strikes on Libya

By Barry Grey, 19 March 2011

Speaking from the White House Friday, President Barack Obama issued an ultimatum paving the way for the launching of a new imperialist war.

Yemeni forces massacre dozens of protesters

By Tom Eley, 19 March 2011

Yemeni security forces of the Salaa government, a close US ally in “the war on terror,” fired indiscriminately into a crowd of peaceful protesters on Friday, killing dozens and wounding hundreds.

German Left Party leader votes in favour of military intervention in Libya

By Lucas Adler, 19 March 2011

A leading member of the German Left Party has voted in the European parliament in favour of a military intervention in Libya.

No to imperialist intervention in Libya!

By World Socialist Web Site editorial board, 19 March 2011

The World Socialist Web Site categorically opposes any military intervention in Libya. The drive toward war has nothing to do with the humanitarian pretexts offered up by the major powers. Rather, it represents the violent imperialist subjugation of a former colony.

UN vote clears way for US-NATO attack on Libya

By Bill Van Auken, 18 March 2011

The United Nations Security Council Thursday night approved a resolution that paves the way for the United States and other major imperialist powers to conduct a direct military intervention in Libya under the pretense of a “humanitarian” mission to protect civilian lives.

US ally Bahrain orders bloody crackdown on protesters

By Tom Eley, 18 March 2011

On Wednesday the government of Bahrain assaulted peaceful demonstrators in Pearl Square and arrested at least a dozen opposition politicians the following day.

Hillary Clinton in Tahrir Square

By Bill Van Auken, 17 March 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Middle East tour, capped by a stroll through Cairo’s Tahrir Square, presents an unparalleled profile in hypocrisy.