Middle East

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.

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.