Iraqi troops out of Kirkuk!

Submitted by Matthew on 18 October, 2017 - 10:15 Author: Simon Nelson

Iraqi government forces and Shia militias have occupied Kirkuk for the first time since 2014, the year Daesh made their away across Iraq. Although Kirkuk is not part of Iraqi Kurdistan it has been under the control of Kurdish forces. In the September referendum it voted by a sizeable majority in favour of independence.

Mehmet Aksoy

Submitted by Matthew on 11 October, 2017 - 9:26 Author: Gerry Bates

Mehmet Aksoy, a London-based Kurdish socialist activist, has been killed by Daesh while volunteering with the Kurdish YPG national liberation forces. Aksoy, a trained film-maker, was volunteering as a press officer with a unit of the YPG when a Daesh unit attacked his position a short distance from the front line in Raqqa.

US coalition moves on Raqqa

Submitted by Matthew on 21 June, 2017 - 10:55 Author: Simon Nelson

After several months of deadlock, the US-led operation with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to take Raqqa has begun. Lama Fakih the Middle East director at Human Rights rightly points out, “The battle for Raqqa is not just about defeating ISIS, but also about protecting and assisting the civilians who have suffered under ISIS rule for three and a half years.”

Saudi Arabia tries to push Qatar into line

Submitted by Matthew on 14 June, 2017 - 10:58 Author: Dan Katz

A simmering conflict between the Gulf State of Qatar and its larger neighbour, Saudi Arabia, has abruptly flared into an open, serious stand-off.

Beginning on 5 June, a Saudi-led grouping of states including Egypt, Bahrain and UAE broke off diplomatic relations, and implemented travel and trade bans against Qatar. Qatar has said it will not retaliate.Saudi Arabia has closed Qatar’s only land border and ordered its citizens to leave Qatar.

Corbyn must be clearer on Assad

Submitted by Matthew on 3 May, 2017 - 6:36 Author: Simon Nelson

Jeremy Corbyn was attacked in the press last week for his refusal to talk about Syria at a press conference. He said he would address the issue in other interviews. Though the outrage was faux, Corbyn’s stance on Syria, and indeed Labour’s as a whole, is contradictory, unclear and tainted with the Stalinist complaisance towards Assad that infects the “anti-war movement”.

In response to the US airstrikes and Boris Johnson’s commitment to help the US with further strikes, without a vote in Parliament, Corbyn called for a political solution:

Syria: the return of US “world policing”

Submitted by Matthew on 12 April, 2017 - 9:16 Author: Simon Nelson

During the US election Trump’s advice to Obama was, “do not attack Syria... if you do many very bad things will happen and from that fight the US gets nothing.” Therefore Trump was not heeding his own advice when he gave the go-ahead for 59 missiles to be fired at an Assad military airfield on 6 April.

Israel enters Syrian conflict

Submitted by Matthew on 22 March, 2017 - 10:42 Author: Simon Nelson

A surprise rebel assault on the eastern suburbs of Damascus has been driven back by the Syrian Army. Meanwhile a further round of peace talks in Geneva, between the government and major rebel factions, will soon begin.

Since the so-called ceasefire began in December last year, both sides have, with justification, accused the other of breaching the agreement. Israel has increased its involvement in the war, with a drone killing of an alleged pro-Assad fighter, part of a militia supported by the Lebanese Hezbollah.

A human slaughterhouse: inside Assad’s Syria

Submitted by Matthew on 8 February, 2017 - 12:06

A report by Amnesty International released on 7 February 2017 says that between 5,000 and 13,000 people were murdered in a secret prison in Syria from 2011 to 2016. Inmates at the prison were mostly civilians who supported the opposition to President Bashar al Assad. The information comes from interviews with 84 people who were former prisoners, guards, judges and doctors.