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.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby downplayed any disconnect with the White House and said U.S. officials were constantly reviewing Syria options
Kiir will be accompanied on his visit by a number of South Sudanese government ministers and officials.
Announcement follows unprecedented talks between Myanmar’s military, political leaders, major opposition parties
Tension has run high across the occupied West Bank since the Wednesday shooting of an extremist Jewish rabbi in Jerusalem
A perforation made in a subterranean water source during mining activities seemed to have caused the flooding
Al-Ahram said Egyptian authorities asked Moussa Ibrahim to leave the country at the request of the Libyan government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni
A fire broke out at France's public radio headquarters in Paris, forcing live programmes off the air as staff evacuated the vast Paris complex where major building work has been underway
Rula Ghani, spouse of Afghanistan's new president Ashraf Ghani, have already critised some Islamic norms welcomed by Afghan society.
At least 300 ISIL militants were killed and scores of vehicles captured in clashes
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when Kiir accused sacked vice president Riek Machar of leading a failed coup attempt against his regime.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Burkina Faso on Friday to press President Blaise Compaore to step down, a day after the army dissolved parliament and announced a transitional government in the face of violent mass protests.
Erekat's statement came during a meeting with foreign officials in the West Bank city of Jericho
Catalan head Artur Mas plans to hold the Nov. 9 ballot, marshalled by volunteers, in place of a non-binding referendum on independence declared illegal by the Constitutional Court.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's comments show how the threat posed by ISIL has pushed some Shi'ites and Sunnis to overcome their sectarian differences and face a common enemy
The fresh violence comes amid rising tension in the holy city after Israel closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound
The absence of the three Muslim leaders means that only the majority Orthodox Christian countries will be represented