Middle East

Greece: 24-hour stoppage by public sector workers; Italian dockers boycott ships carrying arms bound for Yemen war; threats of further strikes in Zimbabwe

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

21 February 2020

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

Washington backs Turkey as border clashes mount with Syria and Russia

By Ulaş Ateşci, 19 February 2020

Washington is encouraging Turkish army operations inside Syria, risking a direct clash between the NATO alliance and the Syrian government’s main allies, Russia and Iran.

US-backed Saudi bombing kills at least 32 civilians in Yemen

By Bill Van Auken, 18 February 2020

The airstrikes, the latest in a long list of war crimes, are believed to have been an act of revenge for the downing of a Saudi warplane.

US assassinated Suleimani to quash Iran’s talks with Gulf monarchies

By Bill Van Auken, 15 February 2020

The murder of the top Iranian general was carried out to shore up Washington’s crumbling Middle East alliances.

Growth of fascistic attacks on refugees in Greece

By George Gallanis, 14 February 2020

A thousand threads tie the fascistic thugs on the streets hunting down refugees to the ruling Greek capitalist party, New Democracy.

Union sells out forestry strike in Finland; South African telecom workers’ strike threat against redundancies; London bus drivers move to strike vote

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

14 February 2020

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

Dozens killed in growing border clashes between Turkey and Syria

By Ulas Atesci, 4 February 2020

This fighting threatens to escalate into a direct confrontation between Turkey, a NATO member state, and the Syrian regime’s nuclear-armed ally, Russia.

South Korea deploys naval unit to Strait of Hormuz

By Ben McGrath, 1 February 2020

Behind the backs of the South Korean working class, Seoul is supporting US war plans that could lead to a wider conflict with China and Russia.

US deploys “usable” nuclear weapon amid continuing war threats against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 1 February 2020

For all the talk of war with Iran having been averted, the reality is that the world remains on the knife’s edge of a catastrophic military confrontation.

Strike wave in Finland; police attack firefighters demonstrating in Paris

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

31 January 2020

Paper and other forestry workers in Finalnd have launched a series of strikes, while protesting French firefighters faced brutal attacks from police.

US airstrikes in Afghanistan hit ten-year high in 2019

By Niles Niemuth, 29 January 2020

The Trump administration has ramped up the air war in Afghanistan as it seeks to pressure the Taliban into a settlement, killing hundreds of civilians in the process.

Trump unveils farcical Mideast “peace plan” as Netanyahu is indicted

By Bill Van Auken, 29 January 2020

Timed to meet the immediate needs of both Trump and Netanyahu, the plan sanctions all of the policies of the Israeli right and is guaranteed to be rejected by the Palestinians.

Trump’s disdain for wounds suffered by troops in Iraq sparks protest

By Bill Van Auken, 27 January 2020

The downplaying of the injuries has laid bare the president’s contempt for US military personnel, with whose lives he gambled by ordering the Suleimani assassination.

Death toll rises to 38 after earthquake in Elazığ in eastern Turkey

By Ulas Atesci, 27 January 2020

Though Turkey is an earthquake-prone country and the state collects billions in a so-called “earthquake tax,” none of the necessary security measures were taken.

The mass protests in Iraq and the US drive to recolonize the Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 25 January 2020

Among the hundreds of thousands who filled the streets of Baghdad were workers and youth whose entire lives have been shaped by the crimes of US imperialism.

French power workers at Grand’Maison dam join pension strikes; 130,000 Turkish metalworkers threaten walk out

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

24 January 2020

French hydroelectric workers joined a strike movement against pension cuts while the union for 130,000 Turkish metalworkers are currently in talks with the Turkish Employers Association of Metal Industries for a pay increase.

Europe dispatches naval flotilla to threaten Iran, Syria

By Anthony Torres, 22 January 2020

A French aircraft carrier and European naval flotillas will patrol strategic Middle East waters that are critical to the global oil trade.

Mass protests escalate in Iraq and Lebanon

By Bill Van Auken, 21 January 2020

Both countries saw violent clashes as discredited caretaker governments failed to meet any of the social and political demands made by hundreds of thousands who have taken to the streets.

Berlin conference prepares military occupation of Libya

By Peter Schwarz, 21 January 2020

The Libya conference, which took place last Sunday in Berlin, was not about peace in the war-torn country, but about the distribution of the loot.

German government to continue military operations in the Middle East

By Johannes Stern, 18 January 2020

All of the parliamentary parties agree with the government’s policy of escalating Germany military intervention in the region.

Washington continues war buildup against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 17 January 2020

Another squadron of F15-E fighter jets has been dispatched to the region, while the threat of a “nuclear option” is on the table.

Nurses strike in Northern Ireland for pay parity; Zimbabwe municipal workers refuse pay offer as hospital strike continues and teachers plan walkout

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

17 January 2020

Thousands of Northern Ireland nurses struck for five days staring January 10 while Zimbabwe public sector workers have rejected a derisory pay offer.

The Suleimani assassination, imperialist strategy and the crisis of the Iranian regime

By Keith Jones, 16 January 2020

The killing of the military leader, widely viewed as second only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei in Iran’s power structure, constitutes a dramatic escalation of the Trump administration’s campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran.

European powers move toward scrapping nuclear accord with Iran

By Alex Lantier, 15 January 2020

Berlin, London and Paris, emboldened by Tehran’s weak response to the US murder of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, are escalating attacks against Iran.

Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung defends murder of Suleimani

By Peter Schwarz, 15 January 2020

In reaction to the Middle East crisis, Germany’s ruling circles are enthusing about the criminal methods of Trump while pursuing their own imperialist interests more aggressively.

Kremlin maintains muted response to Suleimani assassination, insists on Iran nuclear deal

By Clara Weiss, 15 January 2020

An open war against Iran is likely to spread directly to the border of Russia, enflaming not only the entire Middle East but also the South Caucasus.

Trump exploits Iran war crisis to incite violence against political opponents

By Barry Grey, 15 January 2020

Following Trump’s order for the murder of Iranian General Suleimani, his denunciations of political opponents for “taking the side of terrorists” can only be interpreted as a threat of violence.

Assassination of Iran’s General Suleimani planned months in advance

By Bill Van Auken, 14 January 2020

The claim by the Trump administration that its drone missile assassination was carried out in the face of an “imminent” threat stands exposed as a lie.

Australia’s Pine Gap spy base likely involved in the assassination of Qassem Suleimani

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 January 2020

No-one within the Australian media and political establishment has raised the question as to whether the Pine Gap spy base in central Australia played a role in the killing.

Berlin, London and Paris threaten Iran over 2015 nuclear treaty

By Alex Lantier, 14 January 2020

After the recent US assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, the European powers are denouncing not Washington, but Tehran, as a threat to the Middle East.

Iran admits to inadvertently shooting down Ukraine International Airlines jet, killing 176

By Jordan Shilton and Keith Jones, 13 January 2020

The felling of Flight 752 came amid a war crisis fomented by Washington’s campaign of “maximum pressure” on Tehran and its January 3 assassination of Suleimani.

Iran admits to inadvertently shooting down Ukraine International Airlines jet, killing 176

By Jordan Shilton and Keith Jones, 13 January 2020

The felling of Flight 752 came amid a war crisis fomented by Washington’s campaign of “maximum pressure” on Tehran and its January 3 assassination of Suleimani.

The assassination of Qassem Suleimani and the criminalization of US state policy

By Andre Damon, 13 January 2020

The normalization of extrajudicial killing is the outcome of the “war on terror” and decades of continuous war.

US and Israel escalate Middle East tensions in wake of Suleimani assassination

By Bill Van Auken, 11 January 2020

A report that Washington attempted to assassinate a second Iranian official in Yemen has given the lie to the claim that Suleimani was killed to prevent an “imminent” attack.

Erdoğan and Putin open TurkStream pipeline after Iran strikes US bases in Iraq

By Ulaş Ateşci, 11 January 2020

The opening of this strategic pipeline comes amid escalating conflicts over energy in the region and an esclalating conflict between the United States and Iran.

Boston area professor fired after anti-Trump Facebook posting

By Dan Conway, 11 January 2020

Asheen Phansey lost his career over statements made in jest, while Trump and his enablers in the Democratic Party make real threats against Iran without any consequences.

UK: Corbyn offers no fight against war with Iran

By Thomas Scripps, 11 January 2020

Corbyn articulates the concerns within ruling circles, including Johnson’s Tories and the armed forces, that Trump’s recklessness can endanger the UK’s world position.

European powers support war preparations against Iran

By Peter Schwarz, 11 January 2020

Not a single leading European politician condemned the brutal murder of General Qassem Suleimani, which represented a gross violation of international law and massively expanded the ongoing regional war in the Middle East.

Bernie Sanders says “some wars are necessary”

By Tom Hall, 11 January 2020

Sanders’ stated opposition to Trump’s threatened war in Iran is a political trap being set for workers and youth.

Trump bides his time, but the preparations for war against Iran will continue

By Bill Van Auken and David North, 9 January 2020

The media falsely claims that Trump’s failure to order immediate strikes against Iran signals an opening for peace.

After Suleimani murder, New Anti-capitalist Party backs US war on Iran

By Alex Lantier, 9 January 2020

The NPA advances the lie that Iran, a former colonial country, is in fact an imperialist power attacking Washington and slanders Suleimani personally as a mass murderer.

Iran strikes US bases in Iraq as Pentagon deploys B-52 bombers

By Bill Van Auken, 8 January 2020

In evident preparation for full-scale war, the Pentagon has dispatched a bomber strike force consisting of six B-52 heavy bombers to the US military base on the island of Diego Garcia.

Australian government backs US provocations against Iran

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 January 2020

Government representatives responded to the illegal US assassination of General Suleimani by expressing “concern” over “Iran’s behaviour” and insisting Australian troops remain in Iraq.

Corbyn grovels to Privy Council, seeking to block mass anti-war movement

By Laura Tiernan, 8 January 2020

Corbyn’s letter to Johnson was framed as a defence of British national security interests and exhibited Corbyn’s trademark deference to the state.

Democrats fault Trump on strategy, silent on illegality of Suleimani assassination

By Patrick Martin, 6 January 2020

The candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have sought to disguise their support for American imperialism with insincere appeals to popular antiwar sentiment.

Canadian government tacitly endorses US assassination of Iranian general Soleimani

By Roger Jordan, 6 January 2020

Just hours after Trump ordered a drone strike to exterminate Suleimani, the Canadian government issued a statement denouncing Iranian “aggression” in the Middle East.

Britain backs US war drive against Iran

By Robert Stevens, 6 January 2020

Whatever the qualms in British ruling circles about the grave implications of war in the Middle East, the UK is already involved—as America's closest ally—in a potential war against Iran.

Oppose Trump’s criminal war against Iran!

The International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site, 6 January 2020

Trump’s provocation of a war with Iran is an attempt to find a way out of the increasingly desperate crisis of American capitalism—international and domestic—through spectacular acts of violence.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu seeks immunity from prosecution

By Jean Shaoul, 4 January 2020

Netanyahu was indicted in November on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three cases that have been investigated for years.

International Criminal Court to investigate Israeli war crimes

By Jean Shaoul, 4 January 2020

Human rights groups have told the UN Human Rights Council, which is investigating Israel’s use of lethal fire against protestors, that no evidence exists of a single protester killed in Gaza border protests being armed.

US assassinates top Iranian general as 4,000 troops readied for Iraq intervention

By Bill Van Auken, 3 January 2020

The umbrella group for Iraq’s Shia militias reported Friday morning that a US-targeted assassination at Baghdad airport killed Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani.

Wider war over Libya looms as France, Egypt denounce Turkish intervention

By Alex Lantier, 3 January 2020

Less than a decade after the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, the resulting civil war in that country threatens to escalate into an all-out regional conflict involving the major powers.

Iran, Russia and China hold joint naval drills in Indian Ocean amid US war threats

By Alex Lantier, 30 December 2019

The exercises are a signal that a US-led war targeting Iran could rapidly escalate into a global conflict involving the major nuclear powers.

Japan to deploy military forces to aid US operations against Iran

By Ben McGrath, 30 December 2019

Tokyo’s decision is part of its efforts to remilitarize and normalize overseas military action in violation of Article 9 of its constitution.

Trudeau reaffirms Canada’s support for Israeli aggression

By Roger Jordan, 30 December 2019

Canada’s prime minister denounced a protest against a meeting meant to whitewash the crimes of the Israeli Defence Forces as “anti-Semitic.”

New WikiLeaks documents expose doctoring of chemical weapons report to justify 2018 US attack on Syria

By Niles Niemuth, 28 December 2019

Just as extraordinary as the leaks themselves is the complete blackout observed by the mainstream media in the United States and Europe.

Trump issues hypocritical threat over Syrian offensive

By Bill Van Auken, 28 December 2019

Syrian government troops backed by Russian air power have advanced on the last redoubt of Al Qaeda-linked militias in Idlib province.

Saudi Arabia sentences hit men to death, shields organizers of Jamal Khashoggi murder

By Kevin Reed, 24 December 2019

The announcement by Saudi Arabia of death sentences for five members of the death squad that brutally assassinated the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey in 2018 is part of a cover-up to protect the role of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Israel’s political impasse ahead of third election in a year

By Jean Shaoul, 23 December 2019

Netanyahu and his right-wing and ultra-orthodox partners need to secure 61 seats in the Knesset to form a right-wing government that could give him immunity from prosecution.

Australia: Lauded military veteran subject of second police investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 21 December 2019

The special forces were used for some of the most brutal aspects of the war, particularly hunting down and capturing or killing alleged Taliban resistance fighters.

Zimbabwe hospital doctors out for 15 weeks; German Amazon workers strike at three centres

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

20 December 2019

Doctors in Zimbabwe are continuing their walkout in the face of intensifying repression while 1,200 German Amazon workers protested low pay by staging a walkout.

Algerian and Palestinian general strikes; Zimbabwe’s striking doctors threats

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

13 December 2019

Workers in Algeria carried out a four-day general strike while Palestinians in Hebron struck and doctors in Zimbabwe are continuing their months-long struggle.

Turkey’s Erdoğan threatens to send troops into Libya

By Bill Van Auken, 12 December 2019

With Ankara and Moscow backing rival regimes in the ravaged country, any escalation threatens to spill over into a far wider and more dangerous war.

Turkish government blocks care of Kurdish HDP’s jailed ex-leader Demirtaş

By Ulas Atesci, 10 December 2019

Ankara is broadly cracking down on Kurdish politicians, including Kurdish mayors elected this year, amid growing ethnic conflicts linked to the imperialist war in Syria.

Indian oil workers strike against privatisation: Auto workers in Haryana protest in solidarity with striking Honda contract workers

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

7 December 2019

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

US prepares to deploy thousands more troops against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 6 December 2019

While the Pentagon denied a report that 14,000 more troops are being sent to the Persian Gulf, it made clear that a major escalation is under discussion.

Iranian government kills hundreds in bid to suppress the worst protests in decades

By Jean Shaoul, 3 December 2019

There is no doubt that the US, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies and Israel are seeking to exploit the escalating crisis confronting Iran.

Iraqi prime minister offers resignation after army unleashes bloodbath

By Bill Van Auken, 30 November 2019

Adel Abdul Mahdi’s announcement followed the massacre of protesters in two southern Iraqi cities and the capital Baghdad, in which at least 62 were killed.

Imperialist powers intensify pressure on Iranian regime in wake of protests

By Jordan Shilton, 30 November 2019

US imperialism is chiefly responsible for the tense standoff in the Persian Gulf. But the claims of the Iranian regime that “collective security” can be achieved by establishing a closer military alliance with Beijing and Moscow are reactionary.

Croatian teachers’ strikes; healthcare workers’ stoppage in Northern Ireland; Zimbabwe unrest over runaway inflation continues

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

29 November 2019

Thousands of Croatian teachers are continuing strikes over pay while 25,000 health staff in Northern Ireland have taken industrial action and Zimbabwe unions have called a mass demonstration over deteriorating economic conditions.

French courts sabotage probe of official financing of Islamic State terrorism

By Francis Dubois, 26 November 2019

The French courts are covering for the multibillion-dollar Lafarge corporation and its ties to both the French state and the Islamic State terrorist militia in Syria.

Leaked email on alleged chemical attack shows 2018 strikes against Syria based on lies

By Niles Niemuth, 25 November 2019

A whistleblower’s memo establishes that the July 2018 OPCW report on the alleged chemical attack in Douma falsified the findings of investigators to justify the attack on Syrian government forces carried out by the US, the UK and France.

Netanyahu, indicted on corruption charges, refuses to resign

By Jean Shaoul, 23 November 2019

The prime minister’s aim has been to incite his far-right supporters and encourage them to take to the streets on his behalf.

National strike by Finnish postal workers continues; stoppages at UK colleges; South African Airline workers strike

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

22 November 2019

A strike by 9,000 Finnish postal workers is in its second week while instructors have struck several colleges in Britain and workers at state-owned South African Airlines struck last week.

Political and economic turmoil escalates in Lebanon

By Jean Shaoul, 16 November 2019

According to the World Bank, a further devaluation of the Lebanese pound could push up to half the country’s six million people below the official poverty line.

National strike of postal workers in Finland; mass strikes in Algeria; struggles continue in Lebanon and Zimbabwe

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

15 November 2019

About 9,000 Finnish postal workers at the state-owned Posti walked out Monday while mass protests continue in Algeria and Lebanon and the strike by Zimbabwe doctors has spread following sackings.

Dozens of Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza

By Bill Van Auken, 14 November 2019

The escalation against Gaza serves the political needs of Netanyahu, who is desperately seeking a “unity government” to avoid being driven from power and facing criminal prosecution.

Ultra-right Lieberman holds balance of power in Israeli coalition talks

By Jean Shaoul, 11 November 2019

The head of Yisrael Beiteinu is demanding a new governmentexcluding the conservative religious parties.

Democratic Socialists of America “International Committee” denounces “reckless” withdrawal of US troops from Syria

By Genevieve Leigh, 9 November 2019

The response of the DSA to Trump’s announced troop withdrawals from Syria is indistinguishable from that of the Democratic Party and Trump’s critics within the military and intelligence apparatus.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

Zimbabwe nurses join doctors’ stoppage; One-day nationwide strike by Dutch teachers

8 November 2019

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

Prime Minister Hariri’s resignation intensifies Lebanon’s political crisis

By Jean Shaoul, 2 November 2019

The political vacuum in Lebanon poses the risk of an intervention by the regional powers or their local proxies.

Germany’s grand coalition extends military operations in Syria and Iraq

By Johannes Stern, 2 November 2019

Eighty years after the end of the Second World War, leading politicians from all parties openly advocate policies of war and military violence.

Croatian education workers strike continues, Zimbabwe doctors on strike for two months

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

1 November 2019

Seven hundred Croation educators have walked out in a program of rotating strikes while Zimbabwe doctors are continuing an action over the erosion of pay due to inflation.

Washington threatens to fight Syria and Russia for oil

By Bill Van Auken, 31 October 2019

The restatement of US objectives in seizing Syria’s oil fields came amid border clashes between Turkish and Syrian troops.

Iraqi regime responds to mass protests with brutal crackdown

By Jean Shaoul, 30 October 2019

The Iraqi police and security services have killed at least 250 people and injured thousands in a crackdown against the mass protests that erupted earlier this month.

New Zealand defence chief admits Afghan civilian death

By John Braddock, 28 October 2019

The admission to the Operation Burnham inquiry was the first by the Defence Force, which has repeatedly covered up the truth about the 2010 SAS raid.

The murder of Baghdadi and Washington’s crisis in the Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 28 October 2019

The targeted assassination of the ISIS leader was politically timed to deflect criticism within the US ruling establishment and its military and intelligence apparatus of Trump’s Syria policy.

Lebanese protesters keep up demands for the government’s resignation

By Jean Shaoul, 26 October 2019

The protests have brought a quarter of Lebanon’s six million people out onto the streets.

National strike of Croatian educators; Zimbabwe doctors’ stoppage into seventh week

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

25 October 2019

Lecturers and non-teaching staff have called weekly walkouts to press for pay increases in Croatia, while doctors in Zimbabwe are locked in an increasingly bitter battle with the government.

Germany, US threaten war amid Russia-Turkey summit on Syria

By Alex Lantier, 23 October 2019

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called for a massive European Union (EU) force to occupy northern Syria, involving up to 40,000 troops.

US troops withdraw across Syrian border into Iraq

By Patrick Martin, 22 October 2019

While Trump has sought to strike a phony antiwar posture with his pullout order, the troops leaving Syria will remain in the Middle East.

Military brass denounce Trump’s withdrawal of troops from Syria

By Barry Grey, 21 October 2019

The extraordinary intervention of high-ranking retired generals is a breach of the core constitutional principle of the subordination of the military to civilian authority.

Fighting continues in wake of US-Turkish agreement on northern Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 19 October 2019

The “ceasefire” deal has only intensified opposition within US ruling circles, where the withdrawal of US troops from Syria is seen as strengthening Russia’s hand in the Middle East.

Zimbabwe doctors’ six-week strike continues in defiance of courts; German airline cabin crew to walk out Saturday

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

19 October 2019

Doctors in Zimbabwe are demanding their wages be pegged to the US dollar in the face of runaway inflation while Lufthansa cabin crew plan to strike Saturday over wages.

US sends 3,000 more troops to defend Saudi monarchy

By Bill Van Auken, 12 October 2019

The escalation of the US troop deployment in the region followed on the heels of a missile attack on an Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea.

New Anti-capitalist Party demands military escalation against Turkey in Syria

By Alex Lantier, 12 October 2019

The Pabloite NPA bitterly opposes a struggle to unify the working class internationally in a movement against imperialist war and the Middle Eastern bourgeoisie.

Iranian Haft Tappeh sugar workers’ strike resumes; Zimbabwe’s doctors’ five-week strike continues

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

11 October 2019

Workers at the Haft Tappeh sugar cane operation are continuing a struggle over job losses and pay while doctors in Zimbabwe are fighting over pay and overall conditions in the health system.

Iraq in flames

By Bill Van Auken, 5 October 2019

Iraqi security forces opened fire on unarmed civilians for the fourth day in a row Friday as protesters poured into the streets once again in defiance of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s declaration of a round-the-clock curfew.

Greece hit by further 24-hour strike; Strikes and protests continue in South Africa

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

4 October 2019

On Wednesday Greek unions staged a one-day strike against right-wing changes in labour laws while strikes and protests are continuing in South Africa by bank workers, health workers, pilots, firefighters and other sections of workers.

Iraqi protesters gunned down as demonstrations and strikes spread across Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 3 October 2019

The death toll in Iraq rose to at least nine as security forces fired into mass protests against unemployment and deteriorating conditions.