Middle East

Turkish government blocks care of Kurdish HDP’s jailed ex-leader Demirtaş

By Ulas Atesci, 10 December 2019

Ankara is broadly cracking down on Kurdish politicians, including Kurdish mayors elected this year, amid growing ethnic conflicts linked to the imperialist war in Syria.

Indian oil workers strike against privatisation: Auto workers in Haryana protest in solidarity with striking Honda contract workers

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

7 December 2019

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

999 Turkey persecutes Demirtas in prison

7 December 2019

US prepares to deploy thousands more troops against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 6 December 2019

While the Pentagon denied a report that 14,000 more troops are being sent to the Persian Gulf, it made clear that a major escalation is under discussion.

Iranian government kills hundreds in bid to suppress the worst protests in decades

By Jean Shaoul, 3 December 2019

There is no doubt that the US, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies and Israel are seeking to exploit the escalating crisis confronting Iran.

Iraqi prime minister offers resignation after army unleashes bloodbath

By Bill Van Auken, 30 November 2019

Adel Abdul Mahdi’s announcement followed the massacre of protesters in two southern Iraqi cities and the capital Baghdad, in which at least 62 were killed.

Imperialist powers intensify pressure on Iranian regime in wake of protests

By Jordan Shilton, 30 November 2019

US imperialism is chiefly responsible for the tense standoff in the Persian Gulf. But the claims of the Iranian regime that “collective security” can be achieved by establishing a closer military alliance with Beijing and Moscow are reactionary.

Croatian teachers’ strikes; healthcare workers’ stoppage in Northern Ireland; Zimbabwe unrest over runaway inflation continues

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

29 November 2019

Thousands of Croatian teachers are continuing strikes over pay while 25,000 health staff in Northern Ireland have taken industrial action and Zimbabwe unions have called a mass demonstration over deteriorating economic conditions.

French courts sabotage probe of official financing of Islamic State terrorism

By Francis Dubois, 26 November 2019

The French courts are covering for the multibillion-dollar Lafarge corporation and its ties to both the French state and the Islamic State terrorist militia in Syria.

Leaked email on alleged chemical attack shows 2018 strikes against Syria based on lies

By Niles Niemuth, 25 November 2019

A whistleblower’s memo establishes that the July 2018 OPCW report on the alleged chemical attack in Douma falsified the findings of investigators to justify the attack on Syrian government forces carried out by the US, the UK and France.

Netanyahu, indicted on corruption charges, refuses to resign

By Jean Shaoul, 23 November 2019

The prime minister’s aim has been to incite his far-right supporters and encourage them to take to the streets on his behalf.

National strike by Finnish postal workers continues; stoppages at UK colleges; South African Airline workers strike

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

22 November 2019

A strike by 9,000 Finnish postal workers is in its second week while instructors have struck several colleges in Britain and workers at state-owned South African Airlines struck last week.

Political and economic turmoil escalates in Lebanon

By Jean Shaoul, 16 November 2019

According to the World Bank, a further devaluation of the Lebanese pound could push up to half the country’s six million people below the official poverty line.

National strike of postal workers in Finland; mass strikes in Algeria; struggles continue in Lebanon and Zimbabwe

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

15 November 2019

About 9,000 Finnish postal workers at the state-owned Posti walked out Monday while mass protests continue in Algeria and Lebanon and the strike by Zimbabwe doctors has spread following sackings.

Dozens of Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza

By Bill Van Auken, 14 November 2019

The escalation against Gaza serves the political needs of Netanyahu, who is desperately seeking a “unity government” to avoid being driven from power and facing criminal prosecution.

Ultra-right Lieberman holds balance of power in Israeli coalition talks

By Jean Shaoul, 11 November 2019

The head of Yisrael Beiteinu is demanding a new governmentexcluding the conservative religious parties.

Democratic Socialists of America “International Committee” denounces “reckless” withdrawal of US troops from Syria

By Genevieve Leigh, 9 November 2019

The response of the DSA to Trump’s announced troop withdrawals from Syria is indistinguishable from that of the Democratic Party and Trump’s critics within the military and intelligence apparatus.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

Zimbabwe nurses join doctors’ stoppage; One-day nationwide strike by Dutch teachers

8 November 2019

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070 Clashes between Syrian govt and Turkish troops

4 November 2019

Prime Minister Hariri’s resignation intensifies Lebanon’s political crisis

By Jean Shaoul, 2 November 2019

The political vacuum in Lebanon poses the risk of an intervention by the regional powers or their local proxies.

Germany’s grand coalition extends military operations in Syria and Iraq

By Johannes Stern, 2 November 2019

Eighty years after the end of the Second World War, leading politicians from all parties openly advocate policies of war and military violence.

Croatian education workers strike continues, Zimbabwe doctors on strike for two months

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

1 November 2019

Seven hundred Croation educators have walked out in a program of rotating strikes while Zimbabwe doctors are continuing an action over the erosion of pay due to inflation.

Washington threatens to fight Syria and Russia for oil

By Bill Van Auken, 31 October 2019

The restatement of US objectives in seizing Syria’s oil fields came amid border clashes between Turkish and Syrian troops.

Iraqi regime responds to mass protests with brutal crackdown

By Jean Shaoul, 30 October 2019

The Iraqi police and security services have killed at least 250 people and injured thousands in a crackdown against the mass protests that erupted earlier this month.

New Zealand defence chief admits Afghan civilian death

By John Braddock, 28 October 2019

The admission to the Operation Burnham inquiry was the first by the Defence Force, which has repeatedly covered up the truth about the 2010 SAS raid.

The murder of Baghdadi and Washington’s crisis in the Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 28 October 2019

The targeted assassination of the ISIS leader was politically timed to deflect criticism within the US ruling establishment and its military and intelligence apparatus of Trump’s Syria policy.

Lebanese protesters keep up demands for the government’s resignation

By Jean Shaoul, 26 October 2019

The protests have brought a quarter of Lebanon’s six million people out onto the streets.

National strike of Croatian educators; Zimbabwe doctors’ stoppage into seventh week

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

25 October 2019

Lecturers and non-teaching staff have called weekly walkouts to press for pay increases in Croatia, while doctors in Zimbabwe are locked in an increasingly bitter battle with the government.

Germany, US threaten war amid Russia-Turkey summit on Syria

By Alex Lantier, 23 October 2019

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called for a massive European Union (EU) force to occupy northern Syria, involving up to 40,000 troops.

US troops withdraw across Syrian border into Iraq

By Patrick Martin, 22 October 2019

While Trump has sought to strike a phony antiwar posture with his pullout order, the troops leaving Syria will remain in the Middle East.

010 Lebanon

21 October 2019

Military brass denounce Trump’s withdrawal of troops from Syria

By Barry Grey, 21 October 2019

The extraordinary intervention of high-ranking retired generals is a breach of the core constitutional principle of the subordination of the military to civilian authority.

Fighting continues in wake of US-Turkish agreement on northern Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 19 October 2019

The “ceasefire” deal has only intensified opposition within US ruling circles, where the withdrawal of US troops from Syria is seen as strengthening Russia’s hand in the Middle East.

Zimbabwe doctors’ six-week strike continues in defiance of courts; German airline cabin crew to walk out Saturday

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

19 October 2019

Doctors in Zimbabwe are demanding their wages be pegged to the US dollar in the face of runaway inflation while Lufthansa cabin crew plan to strike Saturday over wages.

US sends 3,000 more troops to defend Saudi monarchy

By Bill Van Auken, 12 October 2019

The escalation of the US troop deployment in the region followed on the heels of a missile attack on an Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea.

New Anti-capitalist Party demands military escalation against Turkey in Syria

By Alex Lantier, 12 October 2019

The Pabloite NPA bitterly opposes a struggle to unify the working class internationally in a movement against imperialist war and the Middle Eastern bourgeoisie.

Iranian Haft Tappeh sugar workers’ strike resumes; Zimbabwe’s doctors’ five-week strike continues

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

11 October 2019

Workers at the Haft Tappeh sugar cane operation are continuing a struggle over job losses and pay while doctors in Zimbabwe are fighting over pay and overall conditions in the health system.

Iraq in flames

By Bill Van Auken, 5 October 2019

Iraqi security forces opened fire on unarmed civilians for the fourth day in a row Friday as protesters poured into the streets once again in defiance of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s declaration of a round-the-clock curfew.

Greece hit by further 24-hour strike; Strikes and protests continue in South Africa

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

4 October 2019

On Wednesday Greek unions staged a one-day strike against right-wing changes in labour laws while strikes and protests are continuing in South Africa by bank workers, health workers, pilots, firefighters and other sections of workers.

Iraqi protesters gunned down as demonstrations and strikes spread across Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 3 October 2019

The death toll in Iraq rose to at least nine as security forces fired into mass protests against unemployment and deteriorating conditions.

Anti-Sisi protesters return to Egypt’s streets in teeth of fierce repression

By Bill Van Auken, 28 September 2019

Security forces placed Cairo on a police state lockdown after arresting some 2,000 people in the space of a week.

Greek civil servants strike; UK postal workers strike ballot; South African bank workers to walk out

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

27 September 2019

Some 500,000 Greek civil servants struck Tuesday against labour law changes, while Royal Mail workers authorized strike action and 27,000 South African Bank workers are set to strike Friday.

US drone massacre in Afghanistan

By Jacob Crosse, 21 September 2019

At least 30 Afghan farmers and day laborers were killed and 40 others injured Wednesday night in a US drone attack, despite previous notification given to local officials of farming activity in the area.

US sending more troops to Saudi Arabia amid rising war tensions

By Bill Van Auken, 21 September 2019

The announcement followed a White House meeting between US President Donald Trump and his National Security Council to discuss proposals for military action against Iran.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

UK pilots’ union calls off British Airways strike, UK Ryanair strike goes ahead; Jordan’s teachers’ strike enters second week; union heads off South African auto strike

20 September 2019

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Washington’s rush to indict Iran over Saudi attacks

By Bill Van Auken, 17 September 2019

Without presenting a shred of evidence, the Trump administration charged Tehran with responsibility for attacks that provide a pretext for another US war in the Middle East.

Trump exploits drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities to threaten war against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 16 September 2019

In a menacing threat against Iran, Trump tweeted that “there is reason to believe that we know the culprit” and that the US was “locked and loaded,” implying imminent military strikes.

Slovenian pilots strike; Paris, France rail and metro strike

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

13 September 2019

Slovenian pilots carried out a three-day stoppage September 8 - 10 over contract issues while Paris Metro workers are set to strike Friday to protest adverse pension changes by the Macron government.

Netanyahu pledges to annex Jordan Valley if re-elected

By Jean Shaoul, 12 September 2019

Israel has illegally occupied and built settlements in the West Bank, as well as in Syria’s Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, since capturing them in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

UK and Spanish Ryanair pilots continue strikes; first-ever national strike by Dutch care workers; South African Bank workers to strike

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

6 September 2019

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

UK postal strike looms; British Airways pilots and Spanish Ryanair staff to strike; South African national truck strike call on social media

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

30 August 2019

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

Israel launches airstrikes against Iraq, Syria and Lebanon

By Bill Van Auken, 27 August 2019

The wave of attacks across the region is linked to both the US offensive against Iran and Netanyahu’s re-election campaign.

Britain sold more than £6 billion in arms for Saudi-led coalition’s deadly war in Yemen

By Jean Shaoul, 26 August 2019

British-built aircraft, bombs and missiles have been used to target civilians in breach of the UK arms export law that bans the sale of arms or munitions to a state that is at “clear risk” of committing serious violations of international humanitarian law.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

23 August 2019

Portuguese truck drivers’ strike called off but dispute continues; further strikes by ground staff at Spain’s Barcelona airport; national strike at Nigeria’s universities

Turkey removes HDP mayors amid impending military attack on Syria

By Ulas Atesci, 20 August 2019

The Turkish government removed mayors belonging to the Kurdish nationalist party as it plans a renewed attack on Kurdish YPG militias in Syria.

Tlaib agrees to Israeli terms, then reverses herself on West Bank visit

By Barry Grey, 17 August 2019

The events of the past two days have provided a fresh demonstration of the cowardice of the Democratic Party and the absence within it of any principled opposition to Donald Trump’s authoritarian agenda.

Blackwater mercenary Nicholas Slatten sentenced to life in prison for initiating 2007 Nisour Square Massacre

By Jacob Crosse, 17 August 2019

Eight months after being found guilty a third time for first-degree murder, Slatten was sentenced Wednesday for his role in the notorious massacre in Baghdad during the height of the US occupation of Iraq.

A dictatorial move: Trump blocks travel to Israel by two congresswomen

By Patrick Martin, 16 August 2019

The intervention by the president to block travel by representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar is another blow against the US constitutional framework.

Threat of Ryanair strikes across Europe; Kenyan public workers in 15 counties are set to walk out

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

16 August 2019

More workers at Ryanair have voted to strike as the job action by Portuguese delivery drivers continues and Kenyan public sector workers are set to walk out Tuesday.

Southern separatists overrun Aden, exposing fraud of US, Saudi puppet regime in Yemen

By Bill Van Auken, 13 August 2019

The clashes in Aden after more than four years of murderous war in Yemen have laid bare the failure of the US-backed Saudi campaign to establish any viable regime.

“I begged them! I said ‘Please, I’ve never seen this country!’”

Detroit man dies after ICE deports him to Iraq

By Zac Corrigan, 10 August 2019

Jimmy Aldaoud was born in Greece to Iraqi refugee parents and arrived in the US as an infant in 1979. He was deported to Iraq in June and died this week.

German government and Greens promote military mission in Persian Gulf

By Johannes Stern, 10 August 2019

The German ruling class is intensifying its campaign for a European war mission in the Persian Gulf. Especially aggressive are the leaders of the Green party.

UK Ryanair pilots vote to strike; South Africa’s bank workers two-day national stoppage; Kenyan construction workers wildcat strike over pay and conditions

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

9 August 2019

Ryanair pilots in Britain have given an 80 percent strike mandate while south African bank workers plan to protest massive job losses and Kenyan workers struck the multi-billion-shilling Thwake Dam construction project.

Britain to join US naval blockade of Iran

By Jean Shaoul, 7 August 2019

The decision signifies a further intensification of the drive to war against Iran.

European Union threatens Iran with naval mission to Persian Gulf

By Alex Lantier, 30 July 2019

Amid the US war drive against Iran, this mission is a reckless attempt by the European imperialists to grab a share of the resources of the oil-rich Persian Gulf region.

UK Heathrow airport strike continues as pilots vote to strike; South Africa dockers defy unions

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

27 July 2019

In South Africa, dockworkers are continuing a two-week go slow in defiance of the unions.

Israeli nurses launch nationwide strike

By Jean Shaoul, 25 July 2019

The attack on nurses—usually the very last group of workers to be singled out for wage cuts—came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s interim government passed an austerity budget slashing an additional $900 million.

Turkish government prepares to deport Syrian refugees living in Istanbul

By Çetin Akın and Ulas Atesci, 24 July 2019

Ankara has announced that Syrian refugees not registered in Istanbul have until August 20 to return to the cities in Turkey where they are registered or face deportation.

War danger in Middle East exacerbates political crisis in Britain

By Robert Stevens, 22 July 2019

As Britain moves closer to war, the Iran crisis is being seized on by those advocating a drastic increase in the UK’s military budget.

Iran seizes UK tanker in Strait of Hormuz as danger of Middle East war mounts

By Jordan Shilton, 20 July 2019

Chief responsibility for the growing war danger in the Persian Gulf rests squarely with US imperialism, which has relentlessly escalated its provocations against Iran.

UK hospital in week-long strike; National strike threats on South Africa’s railways and Nigeria’s public sector

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

12 July 2019

Staff at Bradford hospitals struck against plans to transfer them to the employ of a private company, while thousands of South African railroad workers and Nigerian public workers are on strike.

Mass protests against police shooting of Ethiopian Israeli

By Jean Shaoul, 8 July 2019

The authorities arrested the off-duty police officer before releasing him into “protective custody” under house arrest, further inflaming tensions over the killing.

Royal Marines seize Iranian tanker under orders from US

By Chris Marsden, 6 July 2019

Britain’s seizure of an Iranian supertanker carrying 2 million barrels of oil is an act of piracy and a major escalation in tensions that threaten to spiral out of control.

Zimbabwe unions threaten general strike as walkouts spread in Nigeria

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

5 July 2019

The main Zimbabwe union federation has threatened a nationwide strike over the devaluation of currency while Nigerian dockworkers are set to strike this week over nonpayment of back wages joining civil servants and polytechnic staff.

Trump imposes new sanctions amid continuing war threat against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 25 June 2019

The latest sanctions, largely symbolic, do little except escalate tensions as the threat of armed conflict remains on a hair trigger.

Minutes to disaster: Lessons to be learned from the confrontation with Iran

By Andre Damon, 24 June 2019

On Thursday, the United States came within minutes of launching a war, without any serious examination of its military consequences.

Turkey’s ruling AKP defeated in re-run of İstanbul mayoral election

By Ulas Atesci, 24 June 2019

The candidate of Erdoğan’s AKP, Binali Yıldırım, conceded the election Sunday night. The AKP forced the cancellation of the first election result on March 31 after suffering a narrow defeat.

Trump escalates war threats after drone shootdown over Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 21 June 2019

The New York Times reported that the American president authorized military strikes against Iran on Thursday before unexpectedly cancelling them.

US secretary of state declares “military response” to Iran “being considered”

By Peter Symonds, 17 June 2019

Clearly Japan and Germany simply do not believe the US allegations against Iran and suspect that the tankers attacks could well be a US provocation to provide the pretext for war.

US Middle East commander proposes permanent buildup against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 11 June 2019

The head of the US Central Command claimed that the “threat” from Iran remains “imminent” but refused to provide any evidence or details to support the allegation.

US-backed Saudi regime tortures dissidents on eve of threatened beheadings

By Bill Van Auken, 8 June 2019

Among those slated for execution is Murtaja Qureiris, arrested at age 13 for participating in a peaceful protest against the monarchy.

French Nutella workers strike, Tram and metro workers’ stoppage in Greek capital

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 June 2019

Workers at the Nutella factory in Normandy have been blockading the plant over demands for a wage increase while Greek tram workers stopped work Monday to protest the Syriza government’s attacks on public transportation.

Fresh Israeli elections after Netanyahu fails to form a government

By Jean Shaoul, 31 May 2019

The calling of new elections expresses the crisis of bourgeois rule provoked by the twin pressures of the decades-long military suppression of the Palestinian people and deepening social inequality within Israel itself.

Why ISIS launched a terror attack on Sri Lanka

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 29 May 2019

The US has, over the past four years, taken steps to transform Sri Lanka into an important base for its military operations throughout the region, including the Middle East.

Netanyahu—unable to form a government—threatens new Israeli elections

By Jean Shaoul, 28 May 2019

Netanyahu’s Likud party has introduced legislation to dissolve the Knesset and call a second election at the end of August.

Fearmongering accompanies release of John Walker Lindh after 17 years in prison

By John Andrews, 24 May 2019

Lindh, an American captured with other foreign Taliban fighters in 2001, was released from a federal penitentiary Thursday, having served his full sentence for carrying arms on behalf of the then government of Afghanistan.

Israeli writer Amos Oz (1939-2018): A critical appreciation

By Clare Hurley and Clara Weiss, 24 May 2019

Oz published 40 books of fiction, collections of essays, speeches and letters that have been translated into 45 languages, including Esperanto.

Socialist Equality Group to hold public meeting in Turkey to demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By the Sosyalist Eşitlik, 22 May 2019

The meeting is part of the ICFI’s ongoing international campaign to defend Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Saudi bombs kill Yemeni civilians, raising war tensions in Persian Gulf

By Bill Van Auken, 17 May 2019

The airstrikes, claiming 77 civilian casualties, came two days after drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

The US war drive against Iran and the conflict with Europe

By Alex Lantier, 17 May 2019

Amid growing conflicts with its strategic rivals, including its European Union “allies,” Washington is seeking to reorganize Eurasian geopolitics, beginning with a war drive targeting Iran.

Lebanon: Workers take to the streets to denounce government austerity measures

By Jean Shaoul, 13 May 2019

The rallies were part of a nationwide public sector strike affecting schools, universities, state-run media outlets and government offices.

With B-52s, carrier battle group in place, US war against Iran on a hair trigger

By Bill Van Auken, 11 May 2019

The threatening deployments come in the midst of a new round of bellicose statements from Washington.

Iran conflict intensifies transatlantic tensions

By Peter Schwarz, 11 May 2019

The European governments are doing all they can to avoid triggering a broader mobilisation against war.

As protests grow, Algerian army arrests Workers Party leader

By Will Morrow, 11 May 2019

The army is imprisoning Louisa Hanoune on baseless charges to send a signal that it will deal ruthlessly with anyone, even figures with close ties to the regime.

Netanyahu agrees a ceasefire with Hamas—for now

By Jean Shaoul, 10 May 2019

The Israel Defense Forces launched more than 150 aerial strikes and shelled at least 200 sites in the tiny Palestinian enclave.

Acceding to Erdoğan’s demand

Turkish election authorities order re-vote in Istanbul

By Ulas Atesci and Keith Jones, 10 May 2019

If Erdoğan went to such lengths to overturn the Istanbul mayoral election results, it is because he fears any weakening of his control of the state apparatus under conditions of deepening economic and geopolitical crisis.

Imperialist war, the working-class upsurge in the Mideast and North Africa, and the strategy of Permanent Revolution

By Keith Jones, 10 May 2019

We are publishing here the text of the speech to the 2019 International May Day Online Rally delivered by Keith Jones.

War by other means: US/EU sanctions aimed at crippling Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 27 April 2019

Washington is seeking to crash the Syrian economy to create the conditions for a rebellion so as to impose a pro-US regime in Damascus.

Amid mass beheadings, Wall Street scrambles for Saudi profits

By Bill Van Auken, 27 April 2019

With the blood of 37 men decapitated in public squares barely dry, top financiers rushed to Riyadh in search of deals with the ruling monarchy.

New study documents over 1,600 killed in US siege of Raqqa, Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 26 April 2019

The killings in Raqqa, like those in Mosul, Iraq, constituted massive war crimes committed in the so-called war against ISIS.