Middle East

Iranian oil workers mount wave of strikes as COVID-19 rages across the country

By Ulaş Ateşci, 10 August 2020

According to reports, at least 10,000 workers have participated in walkouts at nearly 30 oil and petrochemical facilities, including the Abadan, Parsian and Qeshm refineries.

Massive anger erupts following Beirut port explosion

By Jean Shaoul, 8 August 2020

Security forces used tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters near parliament on Thursday.

Maltese doctors’ action against spread of COVID-19; Iranian oil workers continue strikes; Zimbabwe doctors’ and nurses’ stoppage spreads.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 August 2020

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Beirut port fire: A crime against Lebanese workers

By Jean Shaoul, 6 August 2020

The blast is a damning indictment of Lebanon’s political elite, which allowed vast quantities of highly explosive ammonium nitrate to be stored in a wharfside warehouse for years without proper safety controls.

Massive explosion in Beirut kills dozens and injures thousands

By Kevin Reed, 5 August 2020

A deadly explosion in the port district of Beirut, Lebanon Tuesday evening flattened buildings in the immediate vicinity and sent a shock wave across the city.

As COVID-19 surges, infected Turkish workers forced back to work

By Barış Demir, 5 August 2020

The coronavirus is again spreading unrestrainedly in Turkey due to the criminal back-to-work policies of the ruling class.

Teachers protest Jordan government’s closure of union and harsh crackdown

By Jean Shaoul, 4 August 2020

As poverty and social unrest rise, the government has used the draconian emergency laws introduced in March to curtail democratic rights.

Israeli bus drivers’ strike over COVID-19 safety concerns

By Jean Shaoul, 30 July 2020

More than a thousand bus drivers have been infected with the disease and hundreds are in quarantine, as the number of cases among Israel’s 9 million population has soared.

What led Argentina’s Left Workers Front (FIT) to vote for banning criticism of Israel under the guise of combatting anti-Semitism?

By Andrea Lobo, 29 July 2020

The FIT legislators voted for a bill introduced by the right-wing Macristas to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism aimed at criminalizing opposition to Israel.

Egypt’s el-Sisi approves troop deployment to Libya against Turkish-backed forces

By Jean Shaoul, 28 July 2020

The eastern Mediterranean, including North Africa, has become the focus of ever widening conflicts, with all the imperialist and regional powers pursuing their own rapacious demands for control over the region’s wealth and resources.

Icelandair cabin crew reject contract, threatened with sacking; Israel’s nurses, social workers strike; Zimbabwe nurses’ strike continues

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

24 July 2020

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Israeli police deploy tear gas and water cannon against anti-Netanyahu demonstrators

By Jean Shaoul, 20 July 2020

Around 2,000 people protested outside Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem in one of a series of demonstrations demanding his resignation.

Erdoğan’s conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque and the danger of war

By Ulaş Ateşci and Alex Lantier, 15 July 2020

The stoking of religious and national tensions by major governments accelerates the drive to war across the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Yemen fragmenting under pressure of war, collapsing economy and COVID-19

By Jean Shaoul, 15 July 2020

The Saudis’ 257,000 aerial strikes and the United Arab Emirates’ naval blockade have caused the deaths of at least 230,000 civilians, both directly and indirectly.

Thousands protest Israeli government’s lack of COVID-19 economic aid

By Jean Shaoul, 13 July 2020

Unemployment has risen to 21 percent and more layoffs are expected in the wake of new restrictions imposed since a dramatic rise in infections.

Netanyahu acquires dictatorial powers citing Israel’s upsurge in COVID-19 cases

By Jean Shaoul, 11 July 2020

The prime minister gave himself and the cabinet emergency powers to impose pandemic restrictions for up to a week before lawmakers can discuss, amend or cancel them.

Back-to-work policy accelerates spread of COVID-19 in Israel

By Jean Shaoul, 4 July 2020

The number of new coronavirus cases has doubled every 12 days over the last month and now averages more than 500 a day.

Netanyahu prepares Israel’s annexation of large slice of West Bank

By Jean Shaoul, 29 June 2020

Netanyahu’s plans are a declaration of war against the Palestinians and a broader war in the Middle East, where Israel acts as Washington’s proxy force.

Back-to-work policy accelerates spread of COVID-19 in Turkey

By Çetin Akın, 27 June 2020

The number of daily cases, which fell to 786 on June 2, the lowest level since the outbreak began, is again at 1,500.

Thousands of Iranian sugarcane workers strike for second week; clothing workers’ stoppage in Lethoso; Zimbabwe nurses and doctors protests and strike

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

26 June 2020

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France backs Egypt’s threat to intervene against Turkey in Libyan war

By Alex Lantier, 24 June 2020

Even as COVID-19 threatens millions in Africa, the NATO powers risk escalating their nine-year carve-up of Libya into a major regional or even global conflict.

Pandemic intensifies unemployment and poverty among Turkish workers

By Ozan Özgür, 24 June 2020

Millions of workers are losing their jobs, left unable to meet basic needs as billions go to cheap loans in the interests of the ruling class in Turkey.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the global plight of refugees and migrant workers

By Jordan Shilton, 24 June 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to tear through the global population, the disease is having an especially devastating impact on the tens of millions of displaced people throughout the world.

Turkish army launches ground attacks into Iraqi Kurdistan to target PKK

By Ulaş Ateşci, 19 June 2020

Amid growing international conflicts over Libya, the eastern Mediterranean and Syria, Turkey has invaded northern Iraq to attack Kurdish-nationalist militias.

Risking COVID-19 spread, the state makes Turkish students take mass exams

By Çetin Akın, 19 June 2020

The Turkish government is risking millions of students’ health and life by forcing them to congregate for mass high school and university entrance exams.

New wave of protests in Lebanon amid escalating economic crisis

By Jean Shaoul, 19 June 2020

Washington is seeking to curb Iranian influence in the region and place maximum pressure on the Diab government, which is supported by Hezbollah.

Libyan civil war intensifies amid growing international negotiations

By Hasan Yıldırım, 12 June 2020

The domestic and international parties of the civil war in Libya have recently intensified talks as Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli advanced on the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.

Strike vote by Dutch steelworkers, Nigerian doctors prepare for indefinite walkout; South African airline workers protest

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

12 June 2020

Unanimous strike vote at Dutch Tata steel plant while Nigerian doctors have set June 15 as the date for a nationwide walkout while employees of airline South African Express staged a protest in Pretoria, South Africa over non-payment of wages.

Protests erupt in Syria as the economy collapses

By Jean Shaoul, 10 June 2020

The Syrian pound has fallen precipitously following Lebanon’s economic crisis last October and now the US’s Caesar Act allowing President Donald Trump to impose fresh sanctions.

Baghdad Central on Hulu: Where is the outrage?

By Joanne Laurier, 10 June 2020

Baghdad Central, a six-part series on Hulu, is a crime drama set in the wake of the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Turkish government arrests opposition and Kurdish deputies

By Ulas Atesci, 8 June 2020

Increasingly unpopular, due to the botched official response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is lashing out at bourgeois opposition parties.

The purveyors of death cough up loose change for Yemen

By Jean Shaoul, 8 June 2020

It was no surprise that the response to the aid appeal was a noxious combination of hypocrisy, indifference and bullying.

Spanish workers protest Nissan job losses; South African Macsteel metalworkers walk out against pay cut; strike threats by hospital workers in UK, Iceland

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

5 June 2020

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Trudeau government exploits pandemic to renew $14 billion arms deal with despotic Saudi regime

By Laurent Lafrance, 2 June 2020

With the attention of most Canadians focused on preventing COVID-19 from infecting their family and friends, Canada’s Liberal government saw the opportunity to resume issuing permits for the export of armoured vehicles to the Saudi absolutist regime.

Coronavirus cases surpass six million globally

By Bryan Dyne, 30 May 2020

New epicenters in Eastern Europe, South America, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent are rapidly causing massive public health crises.

Spanish Nissan strike against job losses; Italian electrical workers threaten stoppage against redundancies; South African hospital wildcat strike for PPE

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

29 May 2020

An indefinite strike by 40 Spanish autoworkers at Nissan’s Zona Franca and Montcada sites in Barcelona began on May 4.

Yemen’s health care system collapses under weight of pandemic

By Jean Shaoul, 28 May 2020

The UN has warned that if its programmes close, “the world will have to witness what happens in a country without a functioning health system battling COVID-19”.

Israel’s new government plans war on Palestinians and working class

By Jean Shaoul, 26 May 2020

The new National Emergency Government, headed by an indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his deputy Benny Gantz, has taken office amid a political crisis unprecedented in the country’s 72-year history.

Gulf States force India and other South Asian states to repatriate impoverished migrant workers

By Shuvu Batta, 25 May 2020

The migrant workers, whose labour has helped keep the Gulf States oligarchs basking in luxury, are being deported as COVID-19 renders them an economic burden and political threat.

Ninety-seven die in Pakistan International Airline crash

By Sampath Perera, 25 May 2020

The plane was in the air for 10 to 15 more minutes after its initial aborted landing attempt, according to eyewitnesses.

UK postal workers in Peterborough walk out; unions back reopening of French Amazon; Belgian medics protest

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

22 May 2020

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COVID-19 spreads among Ford workers in Turkey

By Ulas Atesci, 20 May 2020

Unsafe and even deadly conditions during the pandemic are an international issue facing workers of every country.

Turkish government steps up attack on Kurdish HDP amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Barış Demir, 19 May 2020

The dismissal of five Kurdish-nationalist mayors comes amid growing military tensions in the region and growing social anger at the government’s failure to handle COVID-19.

Britain’s covert operations to overthrow Syrian government exposed

By Jean Shaoul, 18 May 2020

Sarkha is one of many programmes in a vast network of fake news activities carried out by the intelligence arms of the US and European powers.

Herd immunity policy in Turkey risks thousands of new deaths

By Ulaş Ateşci, 16 May 2020

The government is launching a “normalization” policy forcing employees back to work over opposition from medical experts.

Belgian bus drivers’ wildcat; South African bus drivers walk out over conditions; daily protests in Israel over government response to pandemic

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

15 May 2020

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

Strikes and workers’ protests mount against “back to work” campaign

By Shannon Jones, 9 May 2020

The incompetence and callous disregard for human life by the capitalist authorities in country after country is fueling an upsurge in the class struggle.

Trump vetoes war powers resolution on Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 8 May 2020

As anticipated, the US Senate failed to muster the two-thirds vote necessary to override the veto of a bill purporting to limit the president’s power to launch aggressive war against Iran.

New Iraq government faces economy in freefall amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Jean Shaoul, 8 May 2020

Prime Minister Al-Khadimi will uphold the political sectarian system known as muhasasa and work with Washington in the “strategic dialogue” over relations between the two countries.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

8 May 2020

South African nurses’ stayaway defies premature lockdown end; health workers in South Africa, Kenya, refuse workers in UK, demand personal protection equipment.

Record 50.8 million people internally displaced in 2019

By Jean Shaoul, 2 May 2020

The plight of tens of millions of internally displaced people is virtually ignored, attracting little global attention during the escalating global pandemic.

French teachers’ strike threat against premature end to lockdown; South African and Zimbabwean nurses protest lack of PPE

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

1 May 2020

Protests are continuing against attempts to restart operations in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic without proper safeguards, including French teachers, German doctors and nurses in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Protester killed in Lebanon during riots against soaring food prices

By Jean Shaoul, 29 April 2020

Men, women and children marched through the streets of Tripoli, where more than half the population are living at or below the poverty line, shouting “Revolution, Revolution.”

Workers protests continue over lack of personal protective equipment; South African unions back premature reopening of the mines

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

24 April 2020

Workers protests continued over lack of protective equipment as South African miners mobilized to oppose a premature return to work.

Israel: Gantz agrees to national emergency government with Netanyahu

By Jean Shaoul, 22 April 2020

The new government’s real purpose is to protect the wealth of Israel’s corporate and financial elite and to suppress social unrest in Israel and Palestine.

Workers protest lack of personal protective equipment as unions support premature back to work drive

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

17 April 2020

Fiat Chrysler in Italy has set May for the resumption of partial production while nurses in Ireland, South Africa and Malawi stage protests against lack of personal protective equipment.

COVID-19 pandemic hits Lebanon, piling health crisis onto political and economic meltdown

By Jean Shaoul, 16 April 2020

Those afflicted with the most severe form of the virus face almost certain death due to an acute lack of life-saving medicines and key equipment.

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Turkish government steps up attacks on workers

By Ulas Atesci, 11 April 2020

President Erdoğan has made clear that his priority is maintaining production, exports and high profits, despite a surge of COVID-19 cases in the factories.

US blocks IMF loan for Iran’s fight against COVID-19

By Bill Van Auken, 11 April 2020

The denial of desperately needed aid as Iran confronts one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world is part of a US sanctions regime that is tantamount to a state of war.

US deal with Taliban breaks down while coronavirus spreads in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 8 April 2020

The Taliban has withdrawn from talks with the crisis-ridden Kabul regime over its failure to act on a prisoner release agreement brokered by Washington.

El-Sisi uses coronavirus pandemic to tighten grip on Egypt

By Jean Shaoul, 3 April 2020

Egypt did nothing to prepare for the onset of the virus, despite being identified in early February, along with Algeria and South Africa, as one of the African countries most at risk.

Health workers in South Africa and Kenya striking for personal protection equipment against coronavirus face police attacks

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

3 April 2020

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at nurses at Bongani Regional Hospital in Welko, South Africa protesting over unsafe travel arrangements while nurses walked out in Kenya over health and safety concerns.

Coronavirus cases surge in Turkey as anger grows among workers at government response

By Baris Demir, 30 March 2020

Turkey’s death toll from the coronavirus increased by 23 to 131 yesterday, as the number of confirmed cases rose 1,815 to 9,217.

Mehring Yayıncılık publishes Turkish-language edition of The struggle against imperialism and for workers’ power in Iran

By Ulaş Ateşçi, 30 March 2020

First published by the WSWS in February 2018, The Struggle against Imperialism and for Workers’ Power in Iran—A Reply to a Proponent of “Iranian Islamic Socialism” advances a socialist strategy for the working class in a country that has been the target of US imperialist aggression for decades.

Preface to the Turkish edition of The struggle against imperialism and for workers’ power in Iran

By Keith Jones, 30 March 2020

A viable strategy to defeat imperialism can only be founded on the working class, and requires its independent political mobilization against all factions of the Iranian bourgeoisie.

Israel: Gantz paves way for national unity government with Netanyahu

By Jean Shaoul, 28 March 2020

The move signifies an agreement among Israel’s politicians to impose a dictatorial regime on both the Israeli and Palestinian working class.

Strikes spread in Europe and Africa over lack of coronavirus safety precautions

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

27 March 2020

Amazon workers in France, metalworkers in Italy, postal workers in Britain and doctors in Zimbabwe are among those taking job action to protest lack of adequate safety measures in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Israel’s Knesset speaker resigns in order to defend Netanyahu

By Jean Shaoul, 26 March 2020

This thoroughly undemocratic manoeuvre comes in the wake of Monday’s High Court ruling that speaker Yuli Edelstein must allow a vote on his replacement.

Palestinians face humanitarian catastrophe from coronavirus

By Jean Shaoul, 24 March 2020

This foreseeable and foreseen disaster comes after Israel’s 13-year-long siege that has rendered Gaza almost uninhabitable.

“Four Corners” program exposes Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By John Harris, 23 March 2020

The actions revealed in the program, including the execution of unarmed civilians, have doubtless been known by successive governments, Labor and Coalition alike.

Netanyahu exploits coronavirus pandemic to build up dictatorial regime in Israel

By Jean Shaoul, 21 March 2020

Netanyahu has exploited the coronavirus to cast himself as the only figure capable of responding to a national emergency.

Turkish IYSSE’s intervention at Istanbul student conference wins warm response

By our reporter, 21 March 2020

The IYSSE presented the perspective of the world Trotskyist movement to a congress of economics students in Istanbul earlier this month.

Strikes in Italy and Iran against exposure to coronavirus at work; South African bus strike threat over pay

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

20 March 2020

Workers in Iran and Italy, two countries heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, have staged job action over work exposure to the disease, while South African transport workers have issued a strike threat over failed contract talks.

Washington imposes new sanctions as Iran’s COVID-19 death toll tops 1,000

By Bill Van Auken, 19 March 2020

The global pandemic is viewed by US imperialism as a weapon in its war for hegemony in the Middle East.

Israeli government uses emergency powers to authorize cellphone tracking of coronavirus patients

By Kevin Reed, 18 March 2020

Netanyahu’s holdover cabinet voted unanimously to authorize the Israeli intelligence service to use cellphone location data to track the movements of coronavirus patients and anyone who comes into contact with them.

Coronavirus hits Israel, threatens catastrophe for West Bank and Gaza

By Jean Shaoul, 14 March 2020

Israel’s caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is exploiting the coronavirus outbreak to shore up his political position.

Iraq condemns US-UK strikes that killed soldiers, police and civilian

By Bill Van Auken, 14 March 2020

The top US commander in the Middle East made it clear that Thursday night’s airstrikes were part of a broader military escalation in the region.

US launches airstrikes in retaliation for Iraq missile attack

By Bill Van Auken, 13 March 2020

The Pentagon warned that “all options are on the table” after the deaths of two US troops and one British medic in a missile strike Wednesday.

Union sells out municipal workers’ strike in Reykjavik, Iceland; Lebanon: hospital strike in Beirut over government inaction over Covid-19

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

13 March 2020

The Efling union has sold out a three week strike by municipal workers in Iceland while hospital workers in Lebanon protest the government’s inept response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Amid protests and crises, Lebanon defaults on Eurobond

By Jean Shaoul, 12 March 2020

The default comes amid a spiralling economic crisis, protests, increasing poverty and other signs of social disintegration, along with the first coronavirus deaths.

US sanctions on Iran turn coronavirus into a catastrophe

By Jean Shaoul, 11 March 2020

Officials announced at the weekend that the virus had spread to most of Iran’s provinces and warned that the number of cases could rise to more than 450,000.

Coronavirus destabilises Saudi Arabia

By Jean Shaoul, 10 March 2020

The Saudi announcement to slash oil prices led to a sharp fall in the share prices of its national oil company Saudi Aramco and Russia’s Rosneft.

Afghanistan “peace” deal stalls as Kabul rivals are both sworn in as president

By Bill Van Auken, 10 March 2020

The swearing in of two rival presidents of the US-backed puppet regime has upended so-called intra-Afghan talks set to begin today.

Putin and Erdogan agree to new Idlib ceasefire at Moscow summit on Syria

By Jordan Shilton, 6 March 2020

Despite both sides’ efforts to smooth over the conflicts, the ceasefire does not resolve the broader NATO-Russia conflicts behind recent Turkish-Russian clashes in Syria.

French workers continue struggle against attacks on pensions; Zimbabwe trade unions try to hold back general strike

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

6 March 2020

On Tuesday workers held marches to protest attacks on pensions by the Macron government while trade union officials in Zimbabwe are attempting to hold back demands for a general strike against spiralling inflation.

Victory for Netanyahu leaves him short of a majority

By Jean Shaoul, 4 March 2020

Netanyahu is focusing all his efforts on persuading the leader of Blue and White, or some of its party members, to dump their pledge not to serve under an indicted prime minister.

Afghanistan peace deal begins to unravel as Kabul rejects prisoner swap

By Bill Van Auken, 2 March 2020

The signing of the accord is an unmistakable admission by Washington that the nearly 19-year-long war it has waged in Afghanistan has produced a debacle.

War tensions mount in wake of strike on Turkish troops in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 29 February 2020

Russia has sent two cruise missile warships to the Syrian coast as Moscow and Ankara continue to dispute the facts surrounding a strike that killed three dozen Turkish soldiers.

Israel’s deepening poverty, social inequality ignored in election campaign

By Jean Shaoul, 29 February 2020

According to Israel’s National Insurance Institute, some 26 percent of households were in poverty or near poverty in 2018.

Turkey bombs Syria after losing dozens of troops to Syrian-Russian airstrike

By Alex Lantier, 28 February 2020

The danger is growing that all-out war could erupt between the NATO alliance and the Syrian government’s major international backers, Iran and Russia.

Iceland: indefinite public sector strike in Reykjavik; Air France pilots’ conduct stoppage; transport workers join South African museum strikers to petition parliament

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

28 February 2020

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

Third election in a year deepens Israel’s political crisis

By Jean Shaoul, 26 February 2020

Netanyahu has carried out one political manoeuvre after another aimed at avoiding prosecution and maintaining his bloc’s domination of the Knesset.

After acquittal in Gezi Park trial, Turkish state re-launches prosecution

By Barış Demir, 26 February 2020

The Gezi Park trial was a politically motivated legal vendetta, aimed at managing the Turkish state’s relations with the imperialist powers while intimidating and discrediting social opposition inside Turkey itself.

Hosni Mubarak, US-backed dictator of Egypt for 30 years, dead at 91

By Bill Van Auken, 26 February 2020

Overthrown in 2011 by a mass revolt of the Egyptian people, he died with his criminal legacy secured by a military regime that is even more repressive than the one he headed.

Iran elections show growing alienation from bourgeois-clerical regime

By Jordan Shilton, 24 February 2020

The ‘principalist’ faction more aligned with Russia and China won amid a collapse in voter turnout, falling from 62 percent in 2016 to just 42.6 percent.

OECD sounds corporate debt warning

By Nick Beams, 24 February 2020

The OECD pointed to an “unprecedented build-up of corporate bond debt” since the financial crisis of 2008 with an increase of $2.1 trillion in 2019 alone.

Control of offshore gas and oil provokes conflicts in eastern Mediterranean

By Jean Shaoul, 24 February 2020

A new “scramble for Africa” is being tied into a new “scramble” for the eastern Mediterranean, as Turkey, Greece, Israel, Egypt, Cyprus, Lebanon and the European powers compete over gas exploration, production licenses and pipelines.

A “ceasefire” in Washington’s Afghanistan debacle

By Bill Van Auken, 22 February 2020

After 18 years of war, the killing of nearly 2,400 troops and the squandering of roughly $1 trillion, Washington is negotiating a deal it could have had with the Taliban without a shot being fired.

Fighting mounts as Washington backs Turkish attack on Syria, Russia

By Alex Lantier, 21 February 2020

US-backed Turkish military operations targeting Syrian and Russian units in Syria could escalate into an all-out clash between Russia and the entire NATO alliance.

EU agrees to new military mission against Libya

By Peter Schwarz, 21 February 2020

The foreign ministers of all 27 EU countries agreed on a new military mission in Libya on Monday.