Middle East

Saturday 16 September marked the first anniversary of the murder of Mahsa Jina Amini, which sparked the ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ uprising in Iran last year. It was commemorated with a bazaar strike in Kurdish towns, and with street protests by the youth in Tehran, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Amol, Hamedan, Rasht and Bukun, among other cities.

On 16 August, the Syrian regime issued a new resolution to deepen the suffering of the Syrian people, 80 percent of whom live below the poverty line, by increasing fuel prices by up to 200 percent. This decision has led to a reduction in purchasing power such that many Syrians are unable to even buy bread. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and pushed the poor in Syria to start to take to the streets after a long period of inactivity.

A damning new investigation accuses Saudi Arabia of deliberately slaughtering hundreds of migrants attempting to cross the Saudi-Yemeni border over the past 12 months. The 73-page report, based on extensive eyewitness testimony and expert analysis of satellite imagery, as well as footage of injuries, lists a litany of allegations against Saudi border guards. It describes them as having “used explosive weapons and shot people at close range, including women and children, in a pattern that is widespread and systematic”. 

The first round of the presidential elections in Turkey has not resulted in a clear winner. The current president Erdogan of the AKP (with 49.3 percent of the votes) will be forced into the second round for the first time. His rival will be Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of the CHP, the Republican People's Party. This election was an uphill battle for the AKP, which has governed Turkey for 20 years, and yet Erdogan was not dislodged.

This weekend, protests will be taking place across the world to mark the 75th anniversary of the Nakba – the disaster faced by the Palestinian people as part of the creation of Israel. We say: Fight for a Socialist Federation of the Middle East!

In less than a week, a nationwide strike has broken out across Iran. Beginning on 21 April, with 18 workplaces affected in the oil-gas sector, it has now spread to now involve over 100 workplaces across the mining, steel and oil-gas sectors. The strikes began in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, but they rapidly spread to Bushehr, Fars, Kerman, Isfahan, Kerman and Yazd province.

On March 17-19, the editorial board of Marxy.com (Arabic website of the International Marxist Tendency), alongside supporters of the IMT in the Middle East and North Africa region, organised an online Marxist Spring University. It was extremely successful, both in regards to its high theoretical level, as well as the number of sign ups, with 254 people registering!

A major corruption scandal, involving the head of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and members of the European Parliament, came to light at the end of 2022. All allegedly received bribes from the Qatari and Moroccan regimes, in exchange for cleaning up the country’s image in advance of the 2022 World Cup. An investigation by the Brussels daily Le Soir uncovered the scandal, leading to the arrest and later sacking of ITUC General Secretary Luca Visentini. He previously stepped aside in December, having spent only a few days in the role.

The US-led invasion of Iraq began 20 years ago. Since then, the country has been torn apart by war, sectarianism, and fundamentalism. To end the horror and barbarism of imperialism, we must fight for revolution and overthrow capitalism.

Outrage is overtaking grief in Turkey as millions of survivors have been left to fend for themselves since the 6 February earthquake that struck the country and neighbouring Syria.

A sharp internecine struggle has erupted within the Israeli ruling class. Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu has only been back in office a couple of months, and he is determined to ram a raft of judicial reforms through Israel’s Knesset (parliament). In doing so, he has enraged the majority of the big capitalists, who have taken the unusual step of backing the mobilisation of enormous crowds on the streets. When the ruling class descends into open conflict like this, it carries, for them, the danger of dropping the façade that in ‘normal’ times conceals the real machinations of their rule. The present conflict is no exception.