World Bulletin/News Desk
Allegations that Syrian government forces have used toxic chemicals are false, Russia said on Friday, and accused President Bashar al-Assad's foes of fabricating such claims to provoke foreign military intervention.
"Accusations against government forces of supposed cases of the use of poisonous chemicals continue to be fabricated," the Russian Foreign Ministry said, apparently referring to reports of chlorine gas attacks.
"The latest anti-Syrian chemical hysteria makes one wonder about the true aims of its initiators, who have not stopped their attempts to find a pretext for military intervention in Syria," the ministry said in a statement.
Russia has given Assad crucial support during the civil war in Syria. Moscow backed the Syrian government's denial that it was behind a devastating sarin gas attack last August, but also initiated a deal for Syria to abandon its toxic chemical stockpile in a move that averted potential U.S. air strikes.
The head of the global chemical weapons watchdog overseeing Syria's chemical disarmament, which is supposed to be complete by the end of June, is considering launching a fact-finding mission to investigate reports of chlorine gas attacks there, sources told Reuters on Thursday.
Angelino Alfano, on a one-day visit to Tunis, met with his counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui and President Beji Caid Essebsi and promised closer relations between the two Mediterranean nations.
Turkey extends condolences to 'friend and ally' Italy
"It's true that during the period of the presidency of Mr. Obama our relations seriously worsened on all levels," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Obama's last full working day as US leader before Donald Trump is sworn in Friday.
Staffan de Mistura will lead the UN delegation to the meetings in the Kazakh capital of Astana that are due to begin on Monday.
May sought to reassure guests at the World Economic Forum in Davos that Brexit did not signal a retreat into protectionism, as a slew of banks revealed plans to relocate staff following her announcement on Tuesday that Britain would leave the single market.
Voicing deep concerns about the development, Stoltenberg said cyber defence will play a key role at the next NATO summit.
Rebels had escaped from Bihanga military training school after being given asylum in Uganda in 2013
Border towns show no resistance to troops, meant to force strongman president to step down peacefully after diplomacy failed
The head of Iraq's elite Counter-Terror Service, which has been doing most of the fighting in Mosul, as well as Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Wednesday that the city's east bank had been "liberated".
Interstate Aviation Committee will analyze flight recorders of cargo plane that crashes Monday near Kyrgyz capital
Al-Qaeda linked militant group Al-Mourabitoun claims responsibility for attack on Malian military base
Mexican migrants are scrambling in an effort to reach the US before Trump takes over
The quakes, all measuring more than five magnitude, struck close to Amatrice, the mountain town devastated by an August earthquake that left nearly 300 people dead.
During his campaign, Trump said he would "bomb the shit" out of ISIL and claimed to have a secret plan to quickly defeat the group.
He had avoided home after a warning that Hamas security forces were looking for him due to his role as an organiser of recent protests over severe electricity shortages.
Jammeh's mandate ended at midnight (local and GMT) but he has steadfastly refused to leave office after losing elections last month to Adama Barrow