Middle East

Kurdish liberation movement wants ‘democratic socialism for the 21st century'

Meral Cicek (pictured) is the chair of Kurt Kadin Iliskiler Merkezi, the Kurdish Centre for Women's Affairs in Erbil, in the autonomous Kurdish Region in northern Iraq).

Cicek spoke to the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s Florian Wilde during the World Social Forum (WSF) in Tunis last month. It has been translated by Leandros Fischer.

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Iraq: New report shows US war left 1 million dead

A recently published report has revealed that the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq was responsible for the deaths of about 1 million Iraqis, or 5% of the population. The report also tallies hundreds of thousands of casualties in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the US-led war.

Palestinians remember the Deir Yassin massacre

The Palestine Action Group released the following statement on April 9.

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Today, April 9, we remember 67 years since the Deir Yassin massacre. Over 100 Palestinians were murdered, with many children left orphaned. Palestinians soon began to leave their homes after witnessing such atrocities, even before the mass exodus that came with the Nakba.

And still 67 years on, the effects of diaspora are being felt harshly by Palestinians. After being forced to flee their homeland, Palestinians in the Yarmouk refugee camp are under attack yet again.

Syria: Catastrophe as Islamic State seizes Yarmouk Palestinian camp

Fears over the safety of the 18,000 civilians trapped in Yarmouk, south of the Syrian capital of Damascus, have grown following reports that the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group has taken control of large areas of the Palestinian refugee camp.

The IS, notorious for its brutal execution of hostages in the areas it occupies in Iraq and Syria, infiltrated Yarmouk camp on April 1.

US backs Saudi war on Yemen

The United States is providing crucial support to regional ally Saudi Arabia ― a big buyer of US arms ― as it launches a new war in the Middle East by attacking neighbouring Yemen.

A Saudi-led coalition of Western-aligned, mainly Sunni Islamist, Arab government's launched air, naval and ground military offensive against Yemen on March 25.

Saudi Arabian forces are being supported by military planes from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan and Egypt, which is also supplying naval forces.

Telling account of Israeli war on architectural ideals

White City, Black City: Architecture & War in Tel Aviv & Jaffa
By Sharon Rotbard
Pluto Press, £14.99

In July 2003, Unesco put the “White City” of Tel Aviv on its list of World Heritage Sites. It took almost 20 years of incessant campaigning by the Israeli state to secure this recommendation that, de facto, legitimised far-reaching aspects of Zionist ideology.

But was there any merit to the Tel Aviv case in the first place? In fact, the building of Tel Aviv began adjacently to Jaffa — one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world — only from about 1909.

Israeli occupation damages Palestinian health, human rights group shows

Israeli group Physicians for Human Rights has released two reports documenting the deterioration of Palestinian health under occupation.

Divide and Conquer documents the deterioration of Palestinian health in the West Bank and Gaza as the direct consequence of ongoing Israeli military occupation.

Turkey: High stakes for Kurds and Erdogan in coming poll

A lot is at stake in Turkey’s parliamentary elections to be held on June 7 — for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as well as the oppressed Kurdish population.

The AKP, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, won 49% of the vote in the 2011 elections and holds 312 of the 550 seats in Turkey’s Grand National Assembly. A Gezici poll taken in January suggests the AKP’s support has slipped 9.7% to just under 40%.

Climate change helped fuel Syrian conflict, study finds

An unprecedented climate change-fueled drought contributed to the political unrest in Syria, says a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Huffington Post reported on February 3.

The article said the Syrian drought, which began in late 2006, dragged on for three years and was the worst on record.

Wealth, inequality crucial factors in Arab revolts

In the more than four years since mass uprisings ousted dictatorial regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, it can seem that the initial hopes represented by these mass movements lie in tatters.

Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iraq remain mired in bloody armed conflicts that have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and displaced millions more within and across borders.

In the pivotal case of Egypt, military rule has returned through the violent crushing of protests, the arrests of an estimated 40,000 people and the rebuilding of the repressive structures of the Hosni Mubarak era.

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