Middle East

Putin stages “mission accomplished” visit to Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 12 December 2017

The Russian President's pronouncement of a 'victory' over ISIS presages not peace, but an even more direct and aggressive conflict between the US and Russia.

Two Palestinians killed, hundreds wounded in clashes following Trump announcement on Jerusalem

By Jordan Shilton, 9 December 2017

Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday following Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

US indicts Turkish banker Mehmet Atilla amid mounting US-Turkish tensions

By Halil Celik, 6 December 2017

The case poses a direct threat to Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdogan, amid mounting divisions over US wars in Syria and Iraq, and US threats against Iran.

Terror attack on Egyptian mosque kills at least 235 worshippers

By Niles Niemuth, 25 November 2017

The Egyptian government has declared that the attack in the northern Sinai is the deadliest in the country’s modern history.

Israel responds to defeat of Islamist rebels in Syria with threat of wider regional war

By Jean Shaoul, 25 November 2017

Israel is seeking to counter Iranian influence and the Syrian government’s consolidation of control over the areas previously held by the various Islamist militias.

US steps up aid to Saudi Arabia’s slaughter in Yemen

By Bill Van Auken, 20 November 2017

Washington is initiating a series of new policies aimed at building up the Saudi military as it carries out a siege of Yemen that could claim the lives of millions.

US-backed Saudi war and blockade puts millions of lives at risk in Yemen

By Niles Niemuth, 18 November 2017

Nearly the entire population of Yemen, 20 million out of 28 million, are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance.

French president travels to Saudi Arabia amid danger of war with Iran

By Francis Dubois, 11 November 2017

In a surprise visit to Riyadh, Emmanuel Macron argued against a regional escalation of the Middle East wars flowing from the NATO countries’ imperialist interventions.

US-Saudi blockade threatens millions of famine deaths in Yemen

By Bill Van Auken, 10 November 2017

Washington and Riyadh have created the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe with the three-year-old war against the poorest nation in the Arab world.

100 years since the Balfour Declaration

Part two

By Jean Shaoul, 8 November 2017

This is the conclusion of a two-part article on the Balfour Declaration that was to lead to the establishment of the state of Israel in Palestine.

100 years since the Balfour Declaration

Part one

By Jean Shaoul, 7 November 2017

This is the first of a two-part article on the Balfour Declaration that was to lead to the establishment of the state of Israel in Palestine.

Lebanese crisis bound up with war drive against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 6 November 2017

Prime Minister Hariri announced his resignation in Riyadh, echoing the virulent anti-Iranian rhetoric of the Saudi monarchy.

Iraqi counter-offensive roils Kurdish Regional Government

By Keith Jones, 2 November 2017

With the US having stoked sectarian conflict in the Mideast, McCain and other congressional war-hawks are now claiming a new intervention may be needed to “save” the Kurds.

US threatens Iran after fall of ISIS “capital” of Raqqa

By James Cogan, 23 October 2017

The end of ISIS control has not ended the carnage in Syria and Iraq, but opened up a potentially even bloodier stage.

Iraqi forces seize back more Kurdish-held territory

By James Cogan, 18 October 2017

Washington, Germany and other powers are applying immense diplomatic pressure on the Kurdish region to submit.

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.”

Washington condemns Kurdish referendum as Iraq mobilizes its army

By Halil Celik, 3 October 2017

Washington has long promoted the KRG, but views its current independence bid as an obstacle to US plans to escalate military-strategic confrontation with Iran.

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.

Iraqi Kurdish referendum stokes Mideast war tensions

By Jean Shaoul and Jordan Shilton, 25 September 2017

Washington has long served as a patron of the Kurdish Regional Government but opposed the referendum fearing it would create greater regional instability.

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.

Israeli electricity shutoff deepens social crisis in Gaza

By Jean Shaoul, 5 September 2017

The combined measures of Israel and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas have reduced Gaza to 19th century conditions.

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.

Antiquated signalling system leads to another deadly train crash in Egypt

By Jean Shaoul, 15 August 2017

A horrific train collision just south of Alexandria, Egypt’s second city, on the Mediterranean coast, left at least 41 people dead and 179 injured on Friday.

Thousands of textile workers strike in defiance of Egyptian dictatorship

By Johannes Stern, 11 August 2017

Reports indicate that the regime is not willing to meet the demands of the workers and is preparing for a confrontation.

Turkey launches mass trial of officers charged in July 2016 coup attempt

By Halil Celik, 4 August 2017

On August 1, Ankara’s Fourth Criminal Court launched a trial of 486 defendants accused of complicity in the attempted coup in Turkey on July 15 of last year.

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.

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.

Three Palestinians dead after clashes between Israeli police and protesters

By Peter Symonds, 22 July 2017

The violent clashes erupted yesterday after Israeli authorities imposed tough new security measures at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Trump administration’s immigration raids target persecuted Iraqi nationals

By Nick Barrickman, 16 June 2017

The Trump administration has rounded up hundreds of Iraqis for minor scrapes with the law, in some instances dating back several decades.

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.

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.

Fifty years since the Six Day Arab-Israeli War

By Jean Shaoul, 9 June 2017

The Israeli military victory over Egypt, Jordan and Syria, far from bringing a new period of peace and prosperity, brought oppression, further wars and social misery to working people in both Israel and the Palestinian territories.

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.

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.

Iran holds presidential election amid mounting geopolitical turbulence

By Keith Jones, 18 May 2017

US “secondary sanctions” continue to squeeze Iran’s economy, contributing to mass joblessness and growing social anger.

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.

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.

At least 23 dead, dozens trapped in Iranian coal mine disaster

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 May 2017

The tragedy underscores the perilous conditions confronting coal miners in Iran and around the world.

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.”

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

The freeing of Hosni Mubarak and the lessons of the Egyptian Revolution

By Johannes Stern, 25 March 2017

How is it possible that six years after the Egyptian revolution, nothing appears to be left of it, and Mubarak, the ugly face of the old regime, is free once again to show himself in public?

Protests shake Egypt after cut to bread subsidies

By Niles Niemuth, 8 March 2017

Egyptian cities were hit by protests just days after former dictator Hosni Mubarak, ousted in the 2011 revolution, was acquitted of murdering protestors and cleared for release.

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.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By our reporters, 17 February 2017

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

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.

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.

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.