Russia accuses U.S. of training ex ISIS fighters to destabilise Syria

 

The chief of the Russian General Staff on Wednesday accused the U.S. of training former Islamic State fighters in Syria  to destabilise the country.

Valery Gerasimov’s allegations, made in a newspaper interview, centre on a U.S. military base at Tanf, a strategic Syrian highway border crossing with Iraq in the south of the country.

Russia says the U.S. base is illegal and that it and the area around it have become “a black hole” where militants operate unhindered. Continue reading “Russia accuses U.S. of training ex ISIS fighters to destabilise Syria”

Russia 2018: 1.3 million tickets requested in 24 hours

 

In Less than 24 hours of resumption of sales of the 2018 FIFA World Cup tickets, a total of 1,318,109 tickets have been requested for.

Ticket sales for the world football tournament in Russia resumed on Wednesday exclusively on FIFA.com/tickets and the excitement sparked by Friday’s final draw brought another wave of worldwide interest.

As the random-selection draw sales period goes on until January 31,2018, fans are able to apply for individual match tickets for all matches (except for the opening and the final), venue-specific tickets and supporter tickets.

In the event that the number of tickets requested exceeds the available Continue reading “Russia 2018: 1.3 million tickets requested in 24 hours”

No cold war between Russia, U.S. – Russian deputy Foriegn Minister

Russia and the U.S. are not in state of cold war despite Washington’s attempts to impose its will on Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said.

“I do not think that we are engaged in a new ‘cold war’ because there no reasons for the ‘cold war’ in its old sense – there is no confrontation between systems, ideologies, [there is] no fight for the domination of ideas,” Mr. Ryabkov said.

At the same time, he pointed out that the U.S. was trying to impose its will on Russia.

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U.S., Russia diplomatic row worsens

 

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow is suspending non-immigrant visa processing throughout Russia starting Wednesday because of Moscow’s requirement to reduce its diplomatic staff to 455 people by Sept. 1, the embassy said Monday.

“Due to the Russian government-imposed cap on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, all non-immigrant visa operations across Russia will be suspended on Wednesday,” the mission said in a statement.

It said operations would resume in Moscow on September 1, while visa operations at U.S. consulates in other Russian cities “will remain suspended indefinitely.”

The embassy said all scheduled appointments would be cancelled and instructions would be provided to applicants on how to reschedule.

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Russia, Syria opposition agree on 3rd Syria Safe Zone

 

The Russian Defence Ministry and Syrian opposition have agreed to create a new “de-escalation” zone north of the city of Homs.

The Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson, Igor Konashenkov, said that the ceasefire in the area is set to take affect at 1200 (0900 GMT) on Thursday.

He said: “on July 31, Cairo hosted regular negotiations between representatives of the Russian Defence Ministry and moderate Syrian opposition. Agreements on the functioning of the third de-escalation zone in Syria, north of Homs, were reached at the meeting.”

The spokesman added that 84 settlements with a population of more than 147,000 people were in the zone.

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President Trump signs new Russia sanctions, questions whether bill interferes with foreign policy authority

 

President Trump has signed a new package of sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, but issued a blistering statement insisting that the bill encroaches on the executive branch’s ability to conduct foreign policy.

“Since this bill was first introduced, I have expressed my concerns to Congress about the many ways it improperly encroaches on executive power, disadvantages American companies, and hurts the interests of our European allies,” Trump wrote in a statement as he signed the bill, which the Senate approved last week.

While Trump said his administration worked with Congress to make the bill better, he notes the legislation “remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate.”

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Australia halts Syria airstrikes following Russia warning

Syrian fighter jet [Photo Credit: soL InternationaL]

Australia on Tuesday said it had halted its airstrikes in Syria following a warning from Russia that it would target U.S. coalition aircraft after a fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane.

A spokesman for Australia’s Defence Department said strike operations in Syria have temporarily ceased, but that it will continue airstrikes in Iraq.

Australia is a member of the U.S.-led coalition and has among the highest number of airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

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White House accuses Russia of Syria chemical attack ‘cover up’

President Trump [Photo credit: Telegraph.co.uk]

President Donald Trump’s administration has accused Russia of trying to shield Syria’s government from blame for a deadly gas attack.

Mr. Trump, who has faced criticism for lacking a broader strategy to deal with the Syria crisis, insisted he has no plans to “go into” the war-torn country.

Senior White House officials, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, said Mr. Assad’s government carried out the April 4 sarin nerve gas attack on civilians in Syria’s Idlib province.

At least 87 people, including many children were killed in the attack.

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Putin says U.S.-Russia ties worse since Trump took office

Vladimir Putin, Russian President

Photo Credit: Slate

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the levels of trust between Moscow and Washington have deteriorated since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

Asked about relations since Trump became president, according to a transcript of the interview released by the Kremlin on Wednesday: Mr. Putin said, “One could say that the level of trust on a working level, especially on the military level, has not improved, but rather has deteriorated.”

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Russia, Iran condemn U.S. missile strikes on Syrian airfield after chemical weapons attack

AP US SYRIA I XSE

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes U.S. missile strikes on a Syrian airfield in retaliation to a chemical attack on civilians are an “act of aggression,” according to his spokesman, while Iran said the action is “dangerous, destructive and violates the principles of international law.”

President Trump said he ordered the strikes early Friday local time in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province that killed 86 people on Tuesday.

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