War Drive in the Middle East

Iraqi seizure of oil-rich Kirkuk from Kurds risks broader war

By Jordan Shilton, 17 October 2017

While the US military and corporate media sought to downplay the scale of the clashes Monday, the Iraqi army’s advance will have explosive consequences for the entire region.

Transatlantic antagonisms deepen after Trump threatens withdrawal from Iran deal

By Jordan Shilton, 16 October 2017

Transatlantic relations have deteriorated throughout 2017 as Trump has resorted to “America first” nationalism and the major European powers, above all Germany, have advanced their own imperialist ambitions.

Trump to light fuse under Iran nuclear deal, as part of more aggressive anti-Iran strategy

By Jordan Shilton, 11 October 2017

In addition to certifying Iran as non-compliant with the 2015 nuclear deal, Trump is said to be preparing to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a “terrorist organization.”

US-Russian tensions flare in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 26 September 2017

The death of a Russian general and claims by US-backed Kurdish forces of Russian air strikes have brought Washington and Moscow to the brink of an armed clash.

US initiates plan to blow-up Iran nuclear deal

By Keith Jones, 21 September 2017

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson outlined Washington’s demands for the “renegotiation” of the Iran nuclear accord at a meeting yesterday of its signatories.

UN General Assembly convenes under shadow of war

By Bill Van Auken, 19 September 2017

On the eve of the opening session of the UN General Assembly, top US officials have reiterated threats of a “military option” on the Korean peninsula that could lead to nuclear war.

Israel bombs Syrian government positions as anti-Assad opposition forces lose ground

By Jean Shaoul, 13 September 2017

The Israeli air strikes against Syria took place as the IDF was conducting the largest military exercise in 19 years on the border with Lebanon.

US massacring hundreds of Syrian civilians every week in Raqqa

By Jordan Shilton, 25 August 2017

The horrific slaughter of civilians in Raqqa comes just months after US-backed Iraqi forces, relying on US air power, laid waste to vast swathes of the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.

Turnbull government defends reported killing of Australian children in Syria

By Mike Head, 25 August 2017

If proven, it would be the first known case of the government facilitating the targeted assassination of Australian citizens since the “war on terrorism” was launched.

War in Yemen: Half a million stricken in cholera epidemic

By Niles Niemuth, 15 August 2017

The epidemic, which has claimed more than 2,000 lives since April, is the result of the savage war being waged by Saudi Arabia in alliance with the United States.

Rome sends warships into Libyan waters to block refugees

By Alex Lantier, 5 August 2017

This mission points to the rising danger of a new imperialist intervention in Libya carried out by competing European powers.

The abandonment of the CIA’s Syrian “rebels” and the pseudo-left accomplices of US imperialism

By Bill Van Auken, 4 August 2017

The Trump administration’s unceremonious pulling of the plug on the CIA’s billion-dollar regime-change operation has exposed the real role of the pseudo-left promoters of the Syrian “revolution.”

Israel: Netanyahu forced to remove metal detectors from the al-Aqsa compound

By Jean Shaoul, 2 August 2017

Israel’s ultra-nationalists feel emboldened by Trump’s apparent support for Israel, as part of his attempt to build a regional alliance against Iran..

New US provocation in Persian Gulf as Washington expands Iran sanctions

By Bill Van Auken, 31 July 2017

The strategy of the Trump White House and Pentagon is to provoke Iran either into abrogating the nuclear accord, or into an outright military clash with the US.

US-trained Iraqi troops ordered to “kill anything that moves” in western Mosul

By Bill Van Auken, 28 July 2017

Two weeks after the Iraqi government hailed Mosul’s “liberation,” the criminal nature of the mass slaughter there continues to emerge.

FBI arrests US Army Sergeant in ISIS sting operation

By Isaac Finn, 28 July 2017

On July 8, the FBI arrested Sergeant First Class Ikaika Erik Kang in a sting operation involving agents posing as ISIS recruiters.

Trump threatens Iran, plots to scuttle nuclear accord

By Jordan Shilton, 24 July 2017

Trump’s bellicose remarks came just days after he reluctantly agreed to certify Iran’s compliance with the terms of the 2015 nuclear accord.

Trump pulls plug on CIA’s Syrian “revolution”

By Bill Van Auken, 22 July 2017

The ending of the CIA’s arming and funding of Al Qaeda-linked “rebels” signals not an end to conflict or rapprochement with Moscow, but is part of the preparations for wider war.

Iraqi sources place real death toll in US-led siege of Mosul at 40,000

By Bill Van Auken, 21 July 2017

The sheer scale of the killing makes the siege one of the greatest war crimes of the post-World War II era.

Turkish-Russian missile deal escalates Turkey-NATO conflict

By Halil Celik, 21 July 2017

By obtaining its first long-range air and anti-missile defense system from Russia, Turkey could conceivably close its skies to NATO fighters if necessary.

One week after Mosul’s “liberation,” horror of US siege continues to unfold

By Bill Van Auken, 17 July 2017

While the bulk of the US media has moved on, after proclaiming “victory” over ISIS in the Iraqi city, evidence of war crimes and collective punishment is mounting.

US commander predicts weeks more of fighting in “liberated” Mosul

By Bill Van Auken, 13 July 2017

The top US general in Iraq signaled that US forces will remain deployed there long after ISIS is defeated.

The “liberation” of Mosul: Washington’s latest war crime in the Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 12 July 2017

The crimes carried out against the people of Mosul are on a Hitlerian scale, with tens of thousands killed or wounded and close to one million people driven from their homes.

US-backed war in Yemen sparks deadly cholera outbreak

By Niles Niemuth, 4 July 2017

An outbreak of cholera caused by the multi-year assault led by Saudi Arabia on the impoverished country has sickened a quarter million Yemenis and killed more than 1,500.

German foreign minister goes on the offensive in the Middle East

By Johannes Stern, 4 July 2017

Just days before the G20 summit in Hamburg, and in the midst of the Qatar crisis, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel traveled to the Arabian Peninsula.

Defence Minister says Britain will back any US action in Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 4 July 2017

The UK is already up to its neck in the US-led operation to topple the Assad regime, including covert and illegal military operations on the ground.

The media blackout of Seymour Hersh’s exposé on US missile strike against Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 3 July 2017

The same corporate media that praised the US missile strike against Syria has blacked out Hersh’s exposure that its pretext, an alleged chemical weapons attack, is a lie.

Iraqi government claims fall of ISIS as war goes on

By Bill Van Auken, 30 June 2017

Baghdad’s Pyrrhic victory in conquering the demolished al-Nuri mosque has not ended the fighting in Mosul, much less the armed conflict across Iraq, Syria and beyond.

Gulf confrontation worsens as deadline looms for Saudi ultimatum to Qatar

By Peter Symonds, 29 June 2017

The standoff in the Gulf has led to an open rift in Washington as Secretary of State Tillerson seeks to end the conflict triggered by President Trump’s support for Saudi action against Qatar.

US air strike kills scores of civilians in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 28 June 2017

The deadly strike on Syria’s eastern Deir al-Zour province Monday is bound up with Washington’s increasingly aggressive military intervention in the region.

Trump’s Syrian chemical weapons claims: A house of cards

By Andre Damon, 28 June 2017

The spurious White House claims that the Syrian government is preparing to use chemical weapons have yet again gone unquestioned in the US media.

US, UAE operate network of torture chambers in Yemen

By Niles Niemuth, 27 June 2017

The brutal torture regime began during the Obama administration and continues under President Donald Trump.

Saudi ultimatum to Qatar brings Middle East to brink of wider war

By Peter Symonds, 26 June 2017

The Saudi-led ultimatum to Qatar contains demands deliberately designed to be rejected, providing the pretext for even tougher sanctions and military action.

Saudi Arabia issues provocative ultimatum to Qatar

By Peter Symonds, 24 June 2017

Qatar has been given 10 days to agree to a sweeping list of demands that would transform it into a political vassal of Saudi Arabia.

Amid threat of US-Russia clash in Syria

NATO warplane buzzes jet carrying Russian defense minister over Baltic Sea

By Barry Grey, 22 June 2017

Any one of the virtually daily NATO-Russian encounters in the air could result in a fire-fight or collision, whether by intention or accident, which could quickly ignite a full-scale war between nuclear powers.

The US escalation in Syria and the threat of world war

By Bill Van Auken, 21 June 2017

The seriousness of the rising tensions between Washington and Moscow was underscored Tuesday with Australia’s announcement that it is grounding its planes that have been flying over Syria.

Escalating threat of US-Russian confrontation in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 20 June 2017

In the wake of Sunday’s US shoot-down of a Syrian jet, Moscow has announced it will treat any US aircraft flying over the western part of Syria as a hostile target.

US shoots down Syrian government aircraft

By Peter Symonds, 19 June 2017

The US is prepared to resort to the most reckless means to defend its footholds in Syria and lay the basis for a broader war.

US-backed siege batters Old City of Mosul

By Bill Van Auken, 19 June 2017

US-backed Iraqi forces began their siege of Mosul eight months ago. Since then, thousands of Iraqi civilians have died under US bombs, rockets and shells.

Washington’s war crimes in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 15 June 2017

UN war crimes investigators found that the US military has inflicted a “staggering loss of civilian life” with its relentless airstrikes in and around the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Marching toward a wider war in the Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 14 June 2017

Behind the bitter political warfare in Washington and the endless claims of Russian interference in the election, very real wars in the Middle East are threatening to coalesce into a regional or even global conflagration.

Gulf crisis could lead to war, says German foreign minister

By Jordan Shilton, 12 June 2017

Sigmar Gabriel’s warning over the Saudi-led diplomatic blockade of Qatar demonstrates the deepening inter-imperialist rivalries in the region, which threaten to transform the dispute into a war between the major powers.

Dispute erupts in Trump administration over Gulf conflict

By Jordan Shilton, 10 June 2017

As the US escalated the war in Syria, divisions between Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson broke out Friday over Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic isolation of Qatar.

Turkey prepares to send troops to Qatar in conflict with Saudi Arabia

By Halil Celik and Alex Lantier, 9 June 2017

With the tacit consent of imperialist powers in Europe, Turkey is siding with Qatar in a conflict with Saudi Arabia and the Trump administration.

Terror attack in Iran exacerbates war tensions in Gulf

By Keith Jones, 8 June 2017

Iranian authorities charged that Saudi Arabia and Washington orchestrated yesterday’s attack, for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility.

The Saudi offensive against Qatar and the global intensification of geopolitical conflict

By Keith Jones, 6 June 2017

Backed by Egypt and its closest Gulf State allies, Saudi Arabia has announced a series of measures against Qatar, a tiny, energy-rich neighbor, that stop just short of war.

US-backed Iraqi forces carry out “annihilation tactics” in Mosul

By James Cogan, 30 May 2017

Secretary of Defense Mattis implied that the “tactics” included the extra-judicial execution of wounded or captured alleged ISIS militants, which would constitute a war crime.

In visit to Israel, Trump escalates attacks on Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 23 May 2017

The US president’s pretense that his policies will bring about an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is transparent window-dressing for a policy of escalating militarism against Tehran.

Trump approves new Pentagon strategy to “annihilate” ISIS

By Niles Niemuth, 20 May 2017

Defense Secretary Mattis announced the plan, which would involve an escalation of the drive for US domination of the Middle East, as Trump prepared for his first foreign trip, beginning with Saudi Arabia.

Washington levels new allegations against Syria on eve of Geneva talks

By Jordan Shilton, 18 May 2017

The unsubstantiated claims appeared aimed at blocking any settlement within the context of a ceasefire brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran earlier this month.

Yemenis dying of cholera as Trump meets with UAE ruler

By Bill Van Auken, 16 May 2017

The Trump administration is arming the UAE and Saudi Arabia to the teeth as the two regimes wage a savage war against the starving population of Yemen.

US-Turkish tensions mount over plan to arm Syrian Kurdish militia

By Bill Van Auken, 11 May 2017

The announcement that the Pentagon will begin directly arming the Syrian Kurdish YPG came just a week before President Erodgan is set to visit the White House.

Pentagon in talks with Baghdad on permanent US occupation of Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 5 May 2017

The discussions are unfolding in the shadow of the US-backed siege of Mosul, which continues to inflict mass civilian casualties.

US secretary of state issues war threat against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 20 April 2017

The administration indicated it will review all sanctions lifted as part of the agreement, with an eye toward reimposing them on the phony pretext that Tehran is a “state sponsor” of terrorism.

Severe humanitarian crisis in Iraq with 800,000 going to bed hungry

By Jean Shaoul, 18 April 2017

A new survey, the most comprehensive ever carried out in Iraq, found that 53 percent of residents and 66 percent of internally displaced people are vulnerable to “food insecurity.”

US drops largest non-nuclear weapon on Afghanistan: A crime against humanity

By Bill Van Auken and David North, 14 April 2017

Even as the US government and media churned out war propaganda over the fabricated “chemical weapons” attack in Syria, Washington was preparing to drop its largest non-nuclear weapon.

Australian academics witch-hunted for challenging US lies on Syria attack

By Mike Head, 14 April 2017

The media campaign, designed to silence public discussion about the latest US aggression, is a flagrant attack on the basic democratic right of free speech.

Britain’s Guardian cynically poses as opponent of war in Syria

By Chris Marsden, 14 April 2017

The Guardian is arguing for continued pressure to be placed on Trump in order to extract the necessary quid pro quo from Washington in return for British and European support for the US war drive in Syria.

Talks in Moscow fail to dispel rising US-Russian tensions

By Bill Van Auken, 13 April 2017

Five hours of talks between US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian officials left relations between the two major nuclear powers at what both sides described as a low point.

US claims of Syria nerve gas attack: The anatomy of a lie

By Patrick Martin, 13 April 2017

All available evidence suggests that the tragedy in Khan Sheikhoun is a deliberate provocation organized by the American CIA and its clients among the Syrian “rebels.”

Turkish government presses for military escalation in Syria

By Halil Celik, 12 April 2017

Top Turkish officials are insisting that last week’s US strike on Syria will have no impact unless Washington follows it up with a broader military campaign.

White House threatens more strikes on Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 11 April 2017

The threat of renewed US military action against Syria followed a Russian-Iranian warning that such action would cross “red lines,” prompting retaliation in kind.

The airstrikes in Syria and the war drive of American imperialism

By Joseph Kishore, 10 April 2017

A relentless logic of military escalation is taking over in Washington, dominated by demands for the overthrow of Assad and a confrontation with Russia.

European governments support Trump’s attack on Syria

By Johannes Stern, 8 April 2017

Following the American attack on the al-Shayrat airbase, the governments of Europe have almost unanimously declared their support for the bombardment, which killed at least nine civilians.

US launches cruise missile attack against Syrian government

By James Cogan, 7 April 2017

The barrage is the first direct assault by the United States on the Russian- and Iranian-backed government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

The bombing of Syria: A new chapter in the US drive for global hegemony

By Bill Van Auken, 7 April 2017

Once again the United States has concocted a pretext to justify the violation of another country’s sovereignty.

Syria’s alleged gas attack: An imperialist provocation

By Bill Van Auken, 6 April 2017

The events in Syria’s Idlib province have all the earmarks of a US intelligence provocation designed to provide the pretext for a new military intervention in the Middle East.

World teeters on the brink of war

By Andre Damon, 5 April 2017

The threat of a major US escalation in North Korea and Syria represents just two of many global flashpoints threatening to lead the world into a conflict between nuclear-armed powers.

US seizes on dubious gas attack to push for expanded Syrian war

By Jordan Shilton, 5 April 2017

The prospect of a direct US-led assault on the Syrian regime cannot be underestimated, with the alleged gas attack providing the pretext.

Egyptian dictator el-Sisi welcomed to the White House

By Patrick Martin, 4 April 2017

White House meetings with el-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah revolve around increasing US pressure on these regimes to join the escalating wars in Iraq and Syria.

Pentagon exercises free rein in global military escalation

By Bill Van Auken, 31 March 2017

The relentless bombing of civilians in Iraq and Syria, the expanding intervention in Yemen and the open threats of military confrontation with Iran are all being carried out by the Pentagon with no public debate and the full complicity of the Democrats.

Top US general calls for military action against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 30 March 2017

General Joseph Votel’s provocative remarks and calls for military action feed into the growing clamour in Washington for tough measures against Iran.

US accused of war crimes in air strikes on Iraqi city of Mosul

By Bill Van Auken, 29 March 2017

The scale of the atrocity carried out by the US military in the March 17 bombing of Mosul continues to emerge amid fresh reports of the slaughter of civilians.

As Yemen war enters third year, Pentagon moves to escalate slaughter

By Bill Van Auken, 28 March 2017

The Trump administration is preparing for a potential direct US ground intervention in support of the Saudi regime’s savage war to further an agenda of confrontation with Iran.

The massacre in Mosul

By James Cogan, 27 March 2017

In February, the Trump administration let it be known that it would sharply escalate the onslaught on Mosul—regardless of how many innocent lives would be lost.

Casualties soar in Iraqi city of Mosul

By James Cogan, 25 March 2017

In the latest atrocity, an air strike on March 17 slaughtered as many as 200 civilians.

Fighting flares in Damascus as US escalates air war in Syria

By Jordan Shilton, 22 March 2017

The renewed fighting underscores the highly unstable situation into which the Trump administration is preparing to send a further 1,000 US marines.

Israel air raid targets government positions as Syrian conflict intensifies

By Jordan Shilton, 18 March 2017

Syrian government forces fired anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli aircraft carrying out air strikes near Palmyra, amid reports that the US bombed a mosque near Aleppo, killing 46 civilians.

Letter from a Syrian reader: “There is a new sentiment of solidarity in the ranks of the poor people”

18 March 2017

The WSWS has received the following correspondence from a reader and supporter in Damascus on the situation in Syria after six years of a civil war instigated and abetted by the major imperialist powers.

US airstrike kills 23 civilians as Marines deploy to Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 10 March 2017

The escalation of the US intervention in both Syria and Iraq is resulting in a rising toll of civilian casualties in both countries.

Canadian military preparing for new role in Syria, extension of Ukraine mission

By Roger Jordan, 4 March 2017

The use of Canadian troops to police so-called safe zones in Syria would see Ottawa integrated even more fully into the US-led war for regime change in Damascus.

Turkey prepares for military escalation in the Middle East

By Halil Celik, 3 March 2017

Ankara is expected to expand its intervention in the wars in Syria and Iraq, while also threatening Iran.

Washington accuses Russia of bombing US-backed forces in Syria

By Jordan Shilton, 2 March 2017

The incident underscores the explosive character of the Syria conflict, which could rapidly escalate into a direct clash between nuclear-armed powers.

Thousands flee as US artillery and air strikes intensify in Mosul offensive

By Jordan Shilton, 1 March 2017

The brutal offensive on Iraq’s second-largest city has already displaced upwards of 200,000 civilians, including 8,000 over the past week.

Pentagon prepares for bigger, bloodier war in Iraq and Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 25 February 2017

Among recommendations being prepared for Trump is a lifting of restrictions on rules of engagement supposedly designed to limit civilian casualties.

Pentagon prepares plan to deploy ground troops in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 17 February 2017

The dispatch of conventional ground troops to Syria as well as an intensification of US airstrikes are reportedly both under consideration.

Syria talks restart in Astana as fighting continues

By Jordan Shilton, 15 February 2017

The talks began just days after an Amnesty International report detailed the mass extrajudicial execution of an estimated 13,000 opponents of the Assad government at a Damascus prison.

Air strike in Afghanistan kills more than 20 as top US commander calls for more troops

By Bill Van Auken, 11 February 2017

General John Nicholson, told a Senate panel that “a few thousand” more US troops were needed to sustain what is now by far Washington’s longest war.

Washington’s war threat against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 3 February 2017

It would be a dangerous mistake to believe that the actions of the Trump White House are the result of mere improvisation or impulse. Rather, they are part of a definite plan.

Dozens killed in Yemen in first US special forces raid under Trump

By Niles Niemuth, 30 January 2017

Reports indicate that at least 57 people were killed on Sunday in a raid in the central province of Baydah, including 16 civilians and one American soldier.

White House to issue executive order on “safe zones” in Syria, ban on Muslim immigrants and refugees

By Niles Niemuth, 27 January 2017

The leak of the draft executive order to the media on Thursday was preceded by an extended interview with ABC News in which Trump endorsed US-controlled “safe zones” inside Syria.

Syrian government, “rebels” meet for talks in Kazakhstan

By Bill Van Auken, 25 January 2017

In the wake of the strategic defeat suffered by the CIA-backed Islamist militias, the US participated only as an observer in the talks brokered by Russia.

Joint Russian, Turkish bombing campaign in Syria deepens NATO crisis

By Bill Van Auken, 20 January 2017

The joint Russian-Turkish action came on the eve of the inauguration of Donald Trump, who is reportedly preparing a major escalation of US intervention in the region.

Iraqi civilian death toll mounts as fighting intensifies in Mosul

By Jordan Shilton, 17 January 2017

Up to 30 civilians were reportedly killed in a US-led air strike last Thursday. The UN reports that fully half of all casualties in Mosul have been civilians.

Paris conference pleads with Trump to continue Middle East “peace process”

By Jean Shaoul, 17 January 2017

The Paris meeting demonstrates the futility of seeking a way forward for for the Palestinian people through a filthy deal between the Palestinian bourgeoisie, the Israeli government and the reactionary Arab states.

Syria accuses Israel of launching missile strike against military airport in Damascus

By Niles Niemuth, 14 January 2017

Israel reportedly carried out its third attack against Syria in as many months even as a ceasefire in the six-year-old US-stoked civil war continues to hold.

US air strike kills 20 civilians in Syria

By Jordan Shilton, 11 January 2017

Details of last week’s raid in Idlib province emerged as Democrats and Republicans in the Senate introduced bipartisan legislation to intensify punitive measures against Russia over its interventions in Syria and Ukraine.

Canadian Afghan war veteran commits suicide after killing family

By Laurent Lafrance, 11 January 2017

Lionel Desmond was suffering from PTSD but failed to receive the support he required due to systematic cuts to health care and veterans’ services.

US destroyer fires warning shots at Iranian patrol boats

By Peter Symonds, 10 January 2017

The incident underscores the volatile situation in the Middle East and the potential for a rapid rise of US-Iranian tensions once Trump assumes the US presidency.

US-Russian tensions sharpen over Syria

By Jordan Shilton, 10 January 2017

The carrying out of a ground raid by US special forces troops in eastern Syria makes clear Washington’s determination to escalate the conflict.