The Iraq War

US Vice President Biden travels to Iraq for crisis talks

By Patrick Martin, 29 April 2016

The unannounced trip is the highest-level official US visit to Iraq since the emergence of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

US authorizes intensified air strikes against civilians in Iraq and Syria

By Thomas Gaist, 21 April 2016

The loosening of the Pentagon’s rules of engagement coincides with an escalation by the US and its Gulf allies in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

US deploys B-52s for bombing in Syria, Iraq

By Patrick Martin, 11 April 2016

The movement of heavy bombers to the Persian Gulf is a major escalation in the US war, carried out with virtually no public discussion.

Military chiefs seize on Brussels attacks to send more US troops to Iraq

By Thomas Gaist, 29 March 2016

More than four years after the official end of the US occupation of Iraq, and with a current presence of some 5,000 troops, military leaders are calling for additional military assets.

Hundreds of US Marines provide combat support as Iraqi forces advance toward Mosul

By Thomas Gaist, 25 March 2016

Two weeks after secretly deploying to northern Iraq, US Marines are pounding Iraqi villages in support of an Iraqi government offensive overseen by US advisors.

Attacks on Marine firebase reveal secret US escalation in Iraq

By Patrick Martin, 23 March 2016

At least 5,000 US troops are now in Iraq, some 20 percent more than the “cap” supposedly set by the Obama White House.

US generals push for more troops in Iraq, Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 10 March 2016

In congressional testimony, a top commander made clear that the US intervention is aimed not merely at ISIS, but at Iran and Russia as well.

Washington denounces Russia, backs escalation of Syria war

By Alex Lantier, 15 February 2016

The NATO powers are supporting plans for a Turkish and Saudi invasion of Syria that could engulf the entire Middle East in war and trigger a global conflict.

Obama administration continues suppression of torture photos

By Tom Carter, 8 February 2016

After 12 years of litigation, the Obama administration has released only 198 out of at least 2,000 photographs depicting torture and other war crimes perpetrated by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Washington to escalate US Mideast wars

By Bill Van Auken, 30 January 2016

The Obama White House is set to approve Pentagon demands for more troops in Iraq and another US military intervention in Libya.

“Staggering” violence in Iraq: The legacy of US war and occupation

By Bill Van Auken, 21 January 2016

From January 1, 2014 through October 31, 2015, the UN recorded at least 55,047 civilian casualties, while warning that the real toll could be much higher.

Twenty-five years since the first Gulf War

Desert Slaughter: The Imperialist War Against Iraq—an enduring contribution to waging war on war

By Eric London, 21 January 2016

In 1991, the Workers League, forerunner of the SEP, published this valuable compendium of articles and statements providing a Marxist analysis of the imperialist war in Iraq and the breakdown of the postwar international order.

Pentagon chief outlines plan for escalation of Iraq-Syria war

By Patrick Martin, 15 January 2016

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter addressed several hundred US commandos at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, before their deployment to the Mideast war zone.

Canada weighing options to expand its role in Mideast war

By Roger Jordan, 14 January 2016

The proposals made by Canada’s Chief of Defense Staff include using Special Forces to conduct black ops in Iraq and deploying regular army units to train fighters.

German government votes to expand military interventions in Mali and Iraq

By Gustav Kemper and Johannes Stern, 11 January 2016

A glance at the foreign ministry’s web site leaves no doubt about the economic interests being pursued by German imperialism.

Federal prosecutors claim two US Palestinians are linked to terrorism

By Patrick Martin, 9 January 2016

Despite media headlines suggesting the arrested men have ties to ISIS, the only charges brought to date involve Internet chatter and making false statements to immigration officials.

As fighting in Turkey mounts, Kurdish nationalists escalate independence drive

By Halil Celik, 30 December 2015

Kurdish nationalist groups are responding to the Turkish military crackdown with appeals to Russia and the imperialist powers for support to wage war inside Turkey.

The New York Times celebrates “retaking Ramadi”

By Bill Van Auken, 30 December 2015

The Times’ duplicitous cheerleading for the military action by the Pentagon and its Iraqi puppet forces serves only to cover up for those who are principally to blame for the rise of ISIS.

US-backed Iraqi forces recapture Ramadi from ISIS

By James Cogan, 29 December 2015

Amidst boasting by Iraqi Prime Minister of the “liberation” of Ramadi, even the sanitised media footage shows scenes of utter devastation.

US air strike kills 12 Iraqi civilians

By Bill Van Auken, 23 December 2015

The latest death toll from the US bombing campaign came as Iraqi troops and militias entered the ISIS-held city of Ramadi.

Canadian Special Forces battle ISIS militants as calls grow for expanded war

By Roger Jordan, 21 December 2015

Canada’s media is becoming increasingly shrill in its demand that Trudeau renege on his election pledge to recall Canada’s fighter jets from the Iraq-Syria war.

US defense secretary outlines general military escalation in Middle East

By Thomas Gaist, 10 December 2015

During a congressional hearing Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter presented an array of escalatory moves in Syria, Iraq and beyond.

Iraqi Odyssey opens in the US

By David Walsh, 27 November 2015

This elegantly composed documentary attempts to interweave the complex saga of the director’s own family with the larger history of Iraq over the past half-century or more.

Obama orders probe of “faulty intelligence” on ISIS

By Bill Van Auken, 24 November 2015

Underlying the altered intelligence reports is the duplicitous US policy in Syria, which remains focused on achieving regime change.

Obama: No end to Syria war without regime change

By Bill Van Auken, 21 November 2015

The US president reiterated Washington’s strategic aims amid indications that the Pentagon is preparing to escalate the American intervention.

Britain’s Paul Mason: A left liberal warmonger

By Chris Marsden, 21 November 2015

Mason is portrayed, and portrays himself, as a “man of the left,” based largely on his membership in the group Workers Power in the 1980s.

US-backed offensives seize towns in northern Iraq

By Thomas Gaist, 14 November 2015

Under the fraudulent cover of a “war against ISIS,” Washington is spearheading yet another military escalation of the new imperialist scramble to redivide the Middle East.

US escalates air and ground operations in Iraq and Syria

By Thomas Gaist, 11 November 2015

The US war in Iraq and Syria requires ground troops to “occupy” and “govern territory,” US Air Force Secretary Deborah James said on Tuesday.

Who was Ahmed Chalabi?

By Bill Van Auken, 4 November 2015

Ahmed Chalabi, the convicted embezzler who played a leading role in providing the phony “intelligence” used to justify the US invasion of Iraq, died Tuesday of a heart attack in Baghdad.

US mulls deploying Special Forces, attack helicopters as Iran joins Syria talks

By Bill Van Auken, 29 October 2015

Washington appears to be thrashing about desperately to salvage its regime-change campaign in Syria and maintain its grip over the broader region.

Pentagon preparing for new ground combat operations in Iraq and Syria

By Thomas Gaist, 28 October 2015

Defense Secretary Carter said the US would step up ground combat operations in Iraq and Syria even as Turkey announced air strikes against US-backed Kurdish militias.

Tony Blair, imperialist war and the Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 28 October 2015

It was the Labour Party, and not simply Blair, which backed the second war in Iraq, just as it did the first in 1990, and as it did in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan.

Tony Blair uses CNN interview to cover for his lies on Iraq

By Chris Marsden, 27 October 2015

Blair’s partial apology was designed to divert from the central issue of his joining with George W. Bush in launching an illegal war of aggression to bring about regime change.

US signals military escalation in Iraq and Syria

By Barry Grey, 26 October 2015

Moves to step up US military intervention in Iraq and Syria are largely driven by concerns over the growing influence of Russia in both countries and throughout the Middle East.

US takes first Iraq war combat fatality since 2011

By Thomas Gaist, 24 October 2015

Amid signs of a US-Russian tug-of-war for influence over the government in Baghdad, dozens of elite US soldiers joined Kurdish fighters to assault ISIS positions in northern Iraq.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau pledges “responsible” approach to Mideast war

By Roger Jordan, 24 October 2015

Less than 24 hours after winning Monday’s election, Justin Trudeau began hedging on his commitment to end Canada’s role in the US-led Iraq-Syria bombing campaign.

Angry protests follow terror bombings in Turkey

By Jean Shaoul and Halil Celik, 12 October 2015

Demonstrators blamed President Erdoğan's anti-Kurdish campaign of bombings and repression for the explosions that turned a peaceful protest into a bloody nightmare.

Turkish government escalates war against Kurdish PKK

By Jean Shaoul and Halil Celik, 9 September 2015

The Turkish government has put much of southeastern Turkey under de facto martial law and is escalating its military operations against the Kurds in Turkey, Iraq and Syria.

Political crisis deepens over delays to UK Iraq War inquiry report

By Paul Mitchell, 31 August 2015

The continued suppression of the Chilcot report, authorized over six years ago, is a sign of the explosive political fallout that will accompany its publication.

New York Times uses rape allegations to promote a wider war in the Middle East

By Barry Grey, 15 August 2015

Rape was not a serious problem before Washington intervened to occupy Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein, overthrow and murder Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and ignite a sectarian civil war in Syria.

Turkish government steps up repression of political opponents

By Halil Celik and Jean Shaoul, 12 August 2015

Police have violently broken up peaceful antiwar demonstrations, and the government has blocked more than 90 news websites.

Abadi announces reforms aimed at “decentralization” of Iraq

By Thomas Gaist, 11 August 2015

Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi’s political reforms are based on a strategy worked out in coordination with the Obama administration during the opening months of 2015.

One year of Obama’s Iraq-Syria war

By Bill Van Auken, 5 August 2015

Through all its dizzying contradictions and the mass of lies employed to sell it, the war’s only consistent features are the predatory aims and methods of US imperialism.

Turkey put on a war footing

By Halil Celik and Jean Shaoul, 31 July 2015

President Erdoğan’s government has mobilised the military and police to target both the Kurdish nationalist movement and the “left” and anti-war opposition in general.

NATO backs Turkish/US regime-change offensive in Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 29 July 2015

In exchange for a green light to attack the Kurds, Turkey has made a U-turn to join the US-led campaign of air strikes in Syria.

US defense secretary visits Iraq as Pentagon prepares new offensive in Anbar

By Thomas Gaist, 24 July 2015

Under the pretext of fighting ISIS, Washington is escalating efforts to reassert its military and political stranglehold over Iraq while fomenting sectarian divisions in the country.

Redeployment: Phil Klay’s short stories about the Iraq War only go so far

By Sandy English, 25 June 2015

The new collection makes certain telling observations about the experiences of American Marines and others who invaded and occupied Iraq.

The US contemplates partitioning Iraq

By James Cogan, 22 June 2015

The Obama administration has signalled that it is indifferent to Iraq’s sovereignty and even its existence.

Pentagon seeks network of new US military bases in Iraq

By Thomas Gaist, 13 June 2015

The new US bases will be manned by hundreds of newly deployed US troops, over and above the 450 additional US soldiers approved by the White House earlier this week.

One year since the fall of Mosul: More US troops headed to Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 11 June 2015

The catastrophe of its own making is drawing US imperialism into an escalating military intervention in the Middle East.

Former Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz dies in prison at 79

By Bill Van Auken, 6 June 2015

The public face of Iraq for decades, Aziz faced deteriorating health during his dozen years of imprisonment, much of which was spent in solitary confinement.

The US arming of ISIS

By Bill Van Auken, 3 June 2015

Underlying the massive rearmament of ISIS forces with captured US weapons are the contradictory and vastly destructive policies pursued by US imperialism.

With US air war in 10th month, ISIS advances in Iraq and Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 2 June 2015

According to one estimate, the Islamist militia now controls territory across Iraq and Syria roughly equivalent to the size of Italy.

Behind the recriminations over the fall of Ramadi

By Bill Van Auken, 28 May 2015

The US defense secretary’s charge that Iraqi forces lack the “will to fight” has evoked counter-charges that Washington has no real desire to crush ISIS.

Pentagon chief hints at shift in US policy in war with ISIS

By Patrick Martin, 25 May 2015

In an interview with CNN, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that the ISIS victory at Ramadi showed that Iraqi government forces did not have the “will to fight.”

Massive military escalation looms as ISIS advances in Iraq

By Niles Williamson, 22 May 2015

The logic of developments in Iraq is leading to the reintroduction of large numbers of American ground troops and a wider war in the Middle East.

US air strikes, Shia militia deployment follow Iraqi military’s rout in Ramadi

By Bill Van Auken, 19 May 2015

The fall to ISIS of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar province, is a debacle both for the Baghdad government and the US war strategy in Iraq.

Iraqi officials report the fall of Ramadi

By our reporter, 18 May 2015

The capital city of Anbar province has been under attack by ISIS forces for more than a year.

Blood on their hands: Libya’s boat refugees and “humanitarian” imperialism

By Johannes Stern and Bill Van Auken, 21 April 2015

The massive refugee death toll in the Mediterranean is a grim form of collateral damage from the imperialist wars waged in the name of “human rights.”

Fighting rages in Iraqi provincial capital

By Patrick Martin, 18 April 2015

Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has launched a counteroffensive against Iraqi government positions in Ramadi, capital of Anbar Province.

Australian government dispatches 330 more troops to Iraq

By Peter Symonds, 16 April 2015

While denying any further expansion of the Australian role in the US-led war, Prime Minister Abbott said such matters were under “constant review.”

Blackwater mercenaries sentenced for 2007 Iraq massacre

By Niles Williamson, 14 April 2015

Four former employees of private security contractor Blackwater were sentenced to lengthy prison terms on Monday for their role in the notorious Nisour Square slayings.

US warplanes attack targets in center of Tikrit

By Patrick Martin, 27 March 2015

The air strikes followed a direct request from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, and the withdrawal of the Iranian official who was directing the ground assault on the city.

Canada plans dramatic expansion of its role in Mideast war

By Roger Jordan, 26 March 2015

The expansion of Canadian bombing raids to Syria is a new act of aggression and a major step towards Canada’s participation in a war for regime change in Damascus.

Judge orders end to Pentagon stalling on torture photos

By Patrick Martin, 23 March 2015

The Pentagon has been fighting for more than a decade to keep visual evidence of the torture at Abu Ghraib and other military sites from becoming public.

Turkey escalates involvement in Iraq-Syria war

By Halil Celik, 17 March 2015

Turkey was until recently reluctant to play an active role in the US-led coalition, and was subject to considerable criticism from the Western powers.

America’s “dirty brigades” in Iraq

By Niles Williamson, 16 March 2015

The atrocities committed by American-backed units in Iraq, including beheadings and the desecration of corpses, expose the hypocritical claims that the war against ISIS is being waged in defense of human rights.

Australian pseudo-lefts defend Syriza’s austerity pact

By Mike Head, 13 March 2015

The January 25 election of Syriza has laid bare the evolution of these groups into open supporters of capitalist governments.

Canadian government seizes on first Iraq casualty to press for war

By Roger Jordan, 13 March 2015

The death last week of Canadian Special Forces Sgt. Andrew Doiron provides further proof of Ottawa’s growing involvement in ground combat operations in Iraq.

ISIS destroys ancient sites near Mosul

By Sandy English, 9 March 2015

ISIS has destroyed the remnants of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, statues in the Nineveh Museum, manuscripts in the Mosul Library and the Roman-period city of Hatra.

No Australian troops to Iraq! Oppose the US war drive!

By James Cogan—SEP candidate for Summer Hill, 6 March 2015

Workers and youth must take the sharpest warning from the latest decision to send more Australian troops to Iraq as part of Washington’s broader war plans.

“Jihadi John,” imperialism and ISIS

By Bill Van Auken, 28 February 2015

Not only did Britain’s security service MI5 carefully track the movements of “Jihadi John,” it carried out an active campaign to recruit him as an informant and covert agent.

US preparing major ground offensive against Iraqi city of Mosul

By Thomas Gaist, 21 February 2015

US advisors and special forces will train and accompany Iraqi combat forces in a drive to retake the largest city currently under ISIS control, threatening a new bloodbath.

Obama administration seeks blank check for perpetual war

By Joseph Kishore, 12 February 2015

The Authorization for Use of Military Force presented to Congress by the White House yesterday aims to establish a new legal framework for war throughout the Middle East and beyond.

Saudi Arabia, 9/11 and the “war on terror”

By Patrick Martin, 6 February 2015

Sworn testimony and affidavits filed in federal court shed light on the role of the Saudi monarchy in the 9/11 attacks, long covered up by the US military/intelligence apparatus.

Germany to send troops into northern Iraq

By Johannes Stern, 31 January 2015

In February, Bundeswehr trainers leave to train the Kurdish Peshmerga in the fight against the Islamic State.

Australian opposition Labor leader visits troops in Iraq

By Will Morrow, 29 January 2015

Shorten’s trip to Iraq underscores the Labor Party’s complete alignment with the US-led war in the Middle East and Washington’s broader militarist agenda.

Crisis talks in London over Islamic State

By Paul Mitchell, 23 January 2015

The UK/US-hosted summit in London discussed plans for stepping up military action in Iraq.

UK Iraq war inquiry report delayed yet again

By Chris Marsden, 23 January 2015

Among the records that will reportedly not be published is a minute of a conversation between Tony Blair and George W. Bush six weeks before the Iraq invasion.

Australian special forces working with sectarian Shiite troops in Iraq

By Will Morrow, 12 January 2015

Australian troops are attached to Iraqi units that function as sectarian death squads, murdering suspected opponents of the US puppet regime.

US military admits civilian deaths in Mideast air war

By Thomas Gaist, 8 January 2015

US warplanes have bombed at least 3,222 targets inside Iraq and Syria and destroyed some 980 structures, an official Pentagon announcement said Wednesday.

Australian prime minister visits Iraq to promote US-led war

By James Cogan, 6 January 2015

Abbott’s visit coincides with the Obama administration’s push to expand the size and operations of US forces.

US moves closer to direct combat with ISIS

By Patrick Martin, 3 January 2015

A former US airbase in Anbar province, where 300 US trainers and Special Forces operatives are located, is surrounded by ISIS and under continuous attack.

US troops in combat in Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 23 December 2014

The report of US “advisers” engaging in combat with ISIS comes as the Pentagon prepares to deploy elements of the 82nd Airborne to Iraq.

British troops returning to Iraq

By Mark Blackwood, 17 December 2014

Iraq is once again at the center of the imperialist scramble for domination of the Middle East and Eurasia.

German government to send combat troops to Iraq

By Christoph Dreier, 15 December 2014

The German parliament’s imminent backing of a combat mission in Iraq marks a crucial step in the unleashing of German militarism.

Canada preparing to expand its role in Mideast war

By Roger Jordan, 29 November 2014

Canada’s Conservative government is now trying to concoct a pseudo-legal justification for involving the country in air strikes against Syria.

Washington denounces Syrian air strikes on ISIS

By Peter Symonds, 28 November 2014

The US State Department’s comments are utterly cynical given the Pentagon’s indifference to civilian casualties in its new Middle East war.

Obama envisions “circumstances” requiring US ground troops in Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 18 November 2014

The US president’s remark came as the top uniformed commander carried out an unannounced visit to Iraq.

Top general says US troops may be needed to retake Iraqi cities

By Bill Van Auken, 15 November 2014

The Pentagon is “certainly considering” sending US ground troops into Iraq, as the Obama administration debates escalating campaign for regime change in Syria.

US troops sent to Iraq’s Anbar province

By Bill Van Auken, 12 November 2014

In the first stage of the latest US escalation, “advisers” are being dispatched to Anbar to pave the way for more “boots on the ground.”

New Zealand government to send troops to Iraq

By Tom Peters, 12 November 2014

The decision to join the renewed US war in the Middle East has been made behind the backs of the New Zealand people.

Obama calls for more Australian, allied troops for Middle East war

By James Cogan, 11 November 2014

Planning is undoubtedly underway for bloody attacks to retake major Iraqi cities currently controlled by ISIS.

US steps up military operations in Iraq, Syria

By Patrick Martin, 10 November 2014

US warplanes struck along a 400-mile front from Idlib, in northwestern Syria, to Mosul in northern Iraq, and at numerous locations in western Iraq.

Washington-backed “rebels” surrender US arms to Al Qaeda in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 4 November 2014

The collapse of the so-called “moderate rebels” in Syria comes as the Pentagon is attempting to rebuild the Iraqi army for an anti-ISIS offensive next year.

Top US general calls for “advisers” in Iraq combat zone

By Bill Van Auken, 1 November 2014

Gen. Dempsey’s proposal would put US troops in predominantly Sunni Anbar province, where ISIS controls roughly 80 percent of the territory.

Turkey allows Kurdish reinforcements into Syrian town of Kobani

By Peter Symonds, 30 October 2014

The US is seeking to forge closer ties with the Kurdish militia groups as it pursues its broader aims of regime-change in Syria.

SEP Public Meetings

Syria, Iraq and the new war in the Middle East: Causes and Consequences

27 October 2014

Once again, the US military machine has dropped bombs upon a defenseless country in the Middle East—this time Syria. As with “shock and awe” against Iraq in 2003 and the “humanitarian” war for regime-change in Libya in 2011, Washington has launched a war of aggression based upon lies.

Washington Post seizes on chemical weapons claims to press for wider war in Syria

By Niles Williamson, 25 October 2014

Two items in Friday’s Washington Post reporting chemical weapons attacks in Iraq and Syria are part of a propaganda campaign by the media to turn the operation against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria into a war to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria.

Blackwater, torture and US imperialism

By Joseph Kishore, 24 October 2014

The reason for the White House’s determination to cover up the crimes of the Bush administration is clear enough. In the words of Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”