This list currently covers Middle Eastern wars and conflicts from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War to the Present, along with other conflicts involving Middle Eastern nations For the purposes of this list, the Middle East comprises Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.
Gaza War Bombing
Israeli War of Independence (1948-1949)—Upon Israel’s declaration of independence, Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia join the local Palestinian militias in attacking Israel.
Suez War(1956)–Israel, France, and Britain invade Egypt. U.S. and Soviet pressure force a cease-fire and allied withdrawal from Egyptian territory.
Iraqi Army Revolt/Coup-(July 14, 1958)–-Brigadier General Abdul Karim el Qassim overthrows the royal government of King Faisal II. Both the king and Prime Minister Nouri al Said are killed. Qassim soon withdrew Iraq from the pro-Western Baghdad Pact and established friendly relations with the Soviet Union.
Lebanese Civil War (1958)–Lebanon’s Christian and Muslim communities engaged in civil conflict. The United States landed troops in the country to halt the fighting.
Mosul (Iraq) Revolt–(March, 1959)–Pro-Qassim communist militia , called the People’s Resistance Force, violently suppressed an anti-Qassim Sunni Army faction made up mostly of junior officers.
Kirkuk (Iraq) Violence -(1959)—Pro-Qassim(pro-Communist) Kurds and People’s Resistance Force killed ethnic Turkomen in Kirkuk .
Iraqi Kurdish Revolt—(1961-1970)–After a period of relative calm, Iraqi government promises of Kurdish autonomy, or self-rule, went unfulfilled, sparking discontent and eventual rebellion among the Kurds in 1961.
North Yemen Civil War (1966-1970)–Royalist rebels fought to overthrow the “Republican” government. Egypt sent troops to help the government, while Saudi Arabia aided the rebels.
Dhofar Rebellion in Oman (1960’s-1970’s)–Marxist rebels, aided by South Yemen, fought against the conservative, pro-western Omani government. The Shah of Iran sent troops to help fight the rebels, and Britain supplied officers for the the Omani army. The rebels were defeated in the early 1970s.\
Six-Day War (1967)–Israel launched a pre-emptive attack on Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The Iraqi air force was also attacked by Israel.
The War of Attrition (1968-1970)–Border war between Egypt and Israel. Basically an extension of their fighting in the Six-Day War.
Jordanian Civil War (1970)–The Jordanian government expelled the Palestine Liberation Orgaination, partly to end Israels’s excuse for continual raids and invasions of Jordan to fight the PLO. Syria sent troops to aid the PLO. Despite that aid, the PLO was forced to move to Lebanon.
Yom Kippur [or Ramadan] War (1973)–Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attack on Israel on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. The attack is also on the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. Iraq sent troops to aid the Syrians.
Iraqi Kurdish Revolt –(March, 1974)-–In March, 1974, Kurdish rebels led by Mullah Mustafa Barzani (having survived an assassination attempt) rebelled against the government. The Kurds felt that the government was not living up to the agreement which ended the previous revolt.
Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990)–When the PLO moved to Lebanon, it helped upset the balance between the Christian and Muslim communities in Lebanon. When civil war broke out, the PLO sided with the several Muslim militias, and Israel aided the Christians. Syria sent troops as part of an Arab League force to stop the fighting. Syrian forces finally withdrew from Lebanon in April of 2005.
Egyptian-Libyan Border War (June 21-24, 1977)–Border conflict between Egypt and Libya.
Intra-Iraqi Kurdish warfare(1978-1979)–In 1975, Jalal Talabani formed the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)-urban-based and leftist) in opposition the Barzani-led Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP).
Iraqi Shia unrest in Karbala -(February, 1979)–Suppressed by the Saddam regime. Under Saddam Hussein, the Shiites (Shia) were a persecuted religious group, both despite the fact, and because of, their numerical majority in the country.
Yemeni War (1979)—A border war between Saudi-allied North Yemen and Soviet-allied South Yemen turned into a superpower confrontation as Saudi Arabia’s ally, the United States, sought to end a war which quickly favored the Marxist South Yemanis. Both sides agreed to a cease-fire.
First Persian Gulf War(1980-1988)–Iran vs. Iraq-also involved U.S. and Kuwait.
“The Tanker War” (1987-1988)-This is the component of the First Persian Gulf War that involved the U.S. and Kuwait. In an attempt to halt Kuwaiti aid for Iraq, as well as Iraqi oil sales and deliveries, Iran attacked oil tankers in the Gulf. The U.S. stepped in to protect the Kuwaiti ships and came engaged in combat with Iran’s Navy and Revolutionary Guards. Also known by the U.S. code-name “Operation Earnest Will.”
Osiraq Reactor Raid—(June 7, 1981) –Israeli war planes bomb the Osiraq nuclear reactor under construction in Iraq.
Israeli Invasion of Lebanon (1982-1984)–Also involved Syria and the PLO.
Israeli-Lebanese Border War (1984-2000)–Also involved Syria , the PLO and Lebanese militia’s such as Hezbollah.
South Yemen Civil War (1986)—Civil War in Marxist South Yemen between different factions in the ruling Marxist government. More than 10,000 died in a week of fighting.
The First Intifada (Dec. 1987-1993)–An uprising by the Palestinians in the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 War. This conflict concluded with the Oslo Accords, which set up a timetable for Palestinian nationhood and called for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, with PLO Chairman Yassir Arafat as President.
Second Persian Gulf War(1990-1991) Kuwait, United States, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Britain, France, Oman, Qatar, UAE vs. Iraq
Iraqi Kurdish Revolt—(1991)–Encouraged by the sudden defeat of Saddam’s forces in Kuwait and spurred by appeals by President George H. W. Bush of the U.S., Kurds rose up against the Iraqi government With the bulk of his elite forces having escaped from the fighting in Kuwait and southern Iraq, Saddam was able to smash the revolt, causing hundreds of thousands of Kurdish refugees to flee into neighboring Turkey and Iran to escape.
Iraqi Shiite Revolt—(1991)– Encouraged by the stunning defeat of Saddam’s forces in Kuwait and spurred by appeals by President George H. W. Bush of the U.S., the Shiites of southern Iraq rose up against the Iraqi government, only to be crushed by Saddam’s forces. Sporadic guerrilla resistance continued, with the bulk of the Shiite fighting forces seeking refuge in neighboring Shiite Iran.
bin Laden’s War (1998-Present) –Terrorist conflict between the United States and irregular forces led by Osama bin Laden. The violence has also involved Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, Yemen and Afghanistan.
The Second Intifada (Sept. 2000-Present)–An urban guerrilla/terrorist conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. Marked by suicide bombings, recurring Israeli invasions of Palestinian cities and Palestinian guerrilla attacks on Isreaeli settlements and military targets.
Third Persian Gulf War(2003-2011)–The second major war between the United States-led coalition and the Middle Eastern nation of Iraq. Military members of the initial invasion coalition also include the United Kingdom, Poland, and Australia.
North Lebanon Conflict(May 20, 2007- September 2, 2007)–This conflict began in May, 2007, when the Lebanese Army began a siege of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in order to drive out a militant Islamic militia called Fatah Islam.
Gaza War(2008-2009)–Israel invades Hamas-ruled Gaza in an attempt to stop frequent missile attacks on Israel by Hamas.
Libyan Civil War (2014-Present)–In the aftermath of the Libyan War of 2011, various factions arose to challenge the new government, including different factions withing the Libyan military and Islamist groups such as the Islamic State. Egypt and the UAE have intervened militarily to support one faction, while Qatar and Sudan support an opposing faction. Added to the confusing and fluid combat situation, the United States is also engaged in occassional strikes against Islamist terrorist targets.
Yemen War and Foreign Intervention (2014-Present)–Arising out of the long Sa’dah Insurgency, (a rebellion against the government by the Shi’ite tribes in the north), the current Yemen Civil War and Foreign Intervention conflict began when the Houthi Shi’ite rebels captured the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, forcing President Hadi into exile. More fighting broke out involving factions of the Yemeni military, the Houthis, al-Qaida insurgents, and groups in the south that were loyal to Hadi and/or sought autonomy for the old South Yemen area. Added to all this confused combat, several foreign nations intervened on behalf of the deposed Hadi government. A coalition of Sunni Arab states (who are in a cold war/proxy war on several fronts with Shi’ite Iran), began a sustained bombing campaign against the Houthis, followed by the presence of ground troops. The members of this coalition include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, and others. In addition, this coalition has active aid from the United States, which has also been waging a covert war against Islamist fighters (primarily al-Qaida) in Yemen for years. In addition, other Islamist groups, most notably the Islamic State, are active in this conflict and oppose everyone else.
Islamic State War(2012-Present)-The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is an Islamic Jihadist group that evolved out of al-Qaida in Iraq. It currently controls significant portions of Iraq and Syria, and is also conducting operations in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and other areas of the Middle East. It is currently at war with a large coalition of Western and Middle Eastern nations including the United States, Britain, France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, and several others.