Middle East

Israel political crisis mounts over Netanyahu corruption revelations

By Jean Shaoul, 23 January 2017

While Netanyahu has appointed close associates to the positions of attorney general and police chief, recently leaked video tapes make his criminal prosecution increasingly likely.

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.

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.

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.

Palestinian kills four Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem truck attack

By Patrick Martin, 9 January 2017

The attack is the bloodiest incident in Jerusalem since Israeli authorities announced a stepped-up expansion of Jewish housing in the predominantly Arab eastern half of the city.

Mosul, Iraq and Obama’s legacy of war

By James Cogan, 22 December 2016

There is no doubt as to the overriding motive behind the 1991 Gulf War, years of sanctions on Iraq, the 2003 US invasion and the blood-letting in Mosul—oil.

The International Socialist Organization and the fall of Aleppo

By Andre Damon, 20 December 2016

The crisis of the US-backed proxy war for regime change in Syria has provoked a furious response from the pseudo-left apologists for US imperialism.

While decrying “massacre” in Aleppo, US steps up bloodshed in Mosul

By Bill Van Auken, 16 December 2016

The hypocrisy of US denunciations of Syria, Russia and Iran for the suffering in Aleppo is exposed by the plight of the besieged Iraqi city of Mosul.

US sends more ground troops to support Kurdish militias in Syria

By James Cogan, 12 December 2016

The increased involvement of American forces will heighten already tense relations between the United States and Turkey.

German defence minister on the offensive in the Middle East

By Johannes Stern, 10 December 2016

The central goal of Ursula von der Leyen’s trip to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Jordan is the expansion of German imperialist influence in the geo-strategically important region.

Trump victory strengthens Israel’s far-right and settler parties

By Jean Shaoul, 5 December 2016

Trump’s remarks on the Israel/Palestine conflict reflect the most extreme demands of Israel’s settler movement and Netanyahu’s political rival Naftali Bennett.

Moscow in secret talks with Syrian “rebels”

By Bill Van Auken, 2 December 2016

The talks brokered between Russia and Turkey are a further manifestation of the debacle facing the US regime change campaign.

Mosul and imperialist “human rights”

By James Cogan, 2 December 2016

The attitude of the imperialist powers to war crimes is determined by whether they benefit from them.

Australia’s Socialist Alternative agitates for escalation of US intervention in Syria

By Will Morrow, 2 December 2016

Socialist Alternative’s commentary on Syria closely aligns with the most hawkish sections of the US military and intelligence apparatus.

New York Times vents Washington’s rage over debacle in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 30 November 2016

The Times has churned out countless lying editorials and columns justifying the bloodbath instigated by US imperialism in Syria as a “human rights” crusade.

Fighting intensifies in Mosul and northern Iraq

By James Cogan, 22 November 2016

Hundreds of American personnel are on the ground and involved in the combat, while British and Australian troops are also reported to be fighting alongside Iraqi units.

Syrian fighting intensifies amid growing signs of military escalation under Trump

By Bill Van Auken, 17 November 2016

The offensive has been accompanied by an increasingly hysterical campaign in the media against any easing of tensions with Moscow under a Trump administration.

Egypt plunges into economic and social nightmare

By Jean Shaoul, 9 November 2016

The IMF insists that Egypt implement reforms, including a flexible currency, cuts to subsidies, a new VAT and the privatisation of state-owned enterprises.

US-backed Kurdish militia announces assault on ISIS capital in Syria

By James Cogan, 7 November 2016

The largely rhetorical announcement appears primarily aimed at bolstering Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Sixty killed in new US-Saudi war crime in Yemen

By Bill Van Auken, 31 October 2016

At least 60 civilians were killed in the latest bombing raid, which comes on the heels of reports warning of mass starvation.

Aleppo, Mosul and “war crimes”

By Bill Van Auken, 28 October 2016

Those denouncing Russia for “war crimes” in Aleppo have carried out atrocities over the course of the past three quarters of a century that vastly eclipse the events in the embattled Syrian city.

Obama administration split on “Plan B” for Syria intervention

By Bill Van Auken, 25 October 2016

The US National Security Council reportedly discussed proposals to provide heavy weapons to Al Qaeda-linked rebels, but took no decision.

Mosul offensive intensifies regional tensions as Turkish soldiers intervene in Iraq

By Jordan Shilton, 24 October 2016

The dispute between the Iraqi and Turkish governments is only one of a vast array of regional and sectarian divisions being inflamed by the US-backed offensive on the northern Iraqi city.

Mosul offensive stirs a cauldron of conflicts

By James Cogan, 21 October 2016

Before Mosul even falls, savage fighting threatens to break out between nominal allies in the operations against Islamic State.

Egyptian junta cultivates Russia and China as a counterweight to the US

By Jean Shaoul, 20 October 2016

Egypt’s turn to Russia and China is a desperate attempt to stave off bankruptcy.

US-backed Iraqi forces tighten noose around Mosul

By James Cogan, 18 October 2016

The increasingly clear intent is to use air strikes, starvation and desperation to weaken what remains of ISIS’s fighting strength.

EU foreign ministers adopt statement denouncing Russia and Syria

By Alex Lantier, 18 October 2016

The European Union statement is aligned with the flood of anti-Russian propaganda emanating from Washington over the NATO war for regime change in Syria.

Yemeni war intensifies following Saudi bombing of funeral

By Peter Symonds, 11 October 2016

In all likelihood, the US knew of, and possibly even planned, last weekend’s air strikes by Saudi planes on Sanaa that killed over 140 people.

Kerry charges “war crimes” as US escalates tensions with Russia

By Bill Van Auken, 8 October 2016

The US secretary of state charged Moscow with “war crimes” as US-backed, Al Qaeda-affiliated “rebels” appeared close to defeat in Aleppo.

Threat of US-Russia clash grows after Washington cuts off Syria talks

By Bill Van Auken, 5 October 2016

The Obama administration is set to discuss military options even as Russia has begun deploying more sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.

Russia responds to US threats with blunt warning over use of force in Syria

By Jordan Shilton, 3 October 2016

A US attack on Syrian government forces could result in “total war” and “tectonic shifts” in the Middle East, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned.

Shimon Peres (1923-2016)

By Patrick Martin, 1 October 2016

The state funeral for Shimon Peres, former Israeli president and prime minister, brought leaders from around the world to pay tribute, not so much to the individual as to the rapacious, land-grabbing, militaristic state he did so much to construct.

More US troops sent to Iraq ahead of assault on Mosul

By James Cogan, 30 September 2016

Justifications have been given in advance for the slaughter of every person labelled a member of ISIS and for large numbers of civilian casualties.

US threatens Russia with end to cooperation in Syria as fighting rages in Aleppo

By Jordan Shilton, 29 September 2016

Kerry’s blunt warning to Lavrov that the US is considering ending all bilateral cooperation with Russia in Syria shows how close the situation is to all-out war.

Syria and the pro-imperialist pseudo-left

By Alex Lantier, 27 September 2016

The response of leading spokesmen of state capitalist and Pabloite tendencies reflect the increasingly open pro-war policies of substantial sections of the international pseudo-left.

US accuses Russia of “war crimes” as danger of clash in Syria mounts

By Jordan Shilton, 26 September 2016

The hypocritical accusations of war crimes hurled at Moscow by the US, Britain and France are an attempt to provide a cover for their reckless policy of regime change in Syria.

62 dead, 100 wounded as US bombs Syrian army near Deir ez-Zor

By Alex Lantier, 19 September 2016

The bombing threatens to escalate the Syrian conflict into all-out war pitting the US-led NATO alliance against Russia and Syria.

US special forces flee “moderate” rebels in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 17 September 2016

The threat by the so-called rebels to slaughter American special operations troops exposed the immense contradictions underlying US imperialism’s war for regime change in Syria.

Fighting rages on in Syria in wake of US-Russia brokered agreement

By Jordan Shilton, 12 September 2016

Washington has acceded to the agreement to give some respite to its proxy forces around Aleppo, where government troops have made substantial gains over recent weeks.

Syria war escalates in run-up to G20 summit meetings

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 3 September 2016

Despite talks between the United States, Russia, and Turkey, conflicts inside Syria continue to mount as the Turkish invasion of northern Syria proceeds.

US pressures Turkey to curb attacks on Syrian Kurds

By Patrick Martin, 30 August 2016

The Obama administration is allied with both sides in the mounting conflict provoked by Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria.

Turkey expands invasion of Syria

By Jordan Shilton, 26 August 2016

Washington’s support for the Turkish invasion is aimed at creating the conditions for a broader intervention to topple the Assad regime.

New flashpoint in escalating war: Turkey shells ISIS and Kurdish forces in Syria

By Barry Grey, 24 August 2016

Turkey and the US are increasingly working at cross purposes in Syria, further frustrating Washington’s central aim of removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“Human rights” propaganda campaign paves way for military escalation in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 19 August 2016

The saturation of the airwaves and the press with images of a five-year-old child in Aleppo should be taken as a warning that Washington is preparing public opinion for a major military escalation.

Growing disquiet in Washington over Russian-Iranian actions in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 18 August 2016

The use by Russian bombers of Iranian bases to attack targets in Syria has provoked official US protests and warnings that Washington’s policy is creating a strategic crisis.

The New York Times whitewashes US imperialism in Middle East and contemplates ethnic cleansing

By Eric London, 17 August 2016

A essay published by the Times on Sunday concludes that the collapse of nationalist governments in the Middle East proves the necessity for a sectarian division of the region.

Saudi coalition airstrike on hospital in Yemen kills at least 11

By Peter Symonds, 16 August 2016

Yesterday’s attack on the Doctors Without Borders hospital is part of a deliberate campaign to terrorise the Houthi population.

British RAF carry out airstrikes in Mosul, Iraq

By Robert Stevens, 4 August 2016

The bombings mark a further escalation of Britain’s participation in imperialist military operations in the Middle East.

India ships food after mass protests by starving Indian workers in Saudi Arabia

By Kanda Gabriel, 4 August 2016

Laid-off workers in Saudi Arabia, the most reliable ally of US and European imperialism in the Middle East, are being left to starve by the thousands.

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

By , 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.