Moscow Notes Extension of OPCW-UN Mandate in Syria Should Depend on Quality of Its Work

MOSCOW- The extension of the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) looking into the use of chemical weapons in Syria should depend on the quality of its work, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday commenting on the next JIM’s report due to be circulated at the UN Security Council on October 26 and the expiration of JIM’s mandate on November 16, Itar Tass reported.

 "The US insists on passing a resolution on extending the JIM mandate at an early date. It grossly distorts Russia’s stance alleging that Moscow will block the extension, if the Mechanism’s conclusions turn out to be anti-Syrian," the diplomats noted. "Such statements have nothing to do with reality."

Army continues successful advance towards Al-Bukmal city

Deir Ezzor - Army units, backed by the air force, carried out intensive operations against ISIS fortifications and positions in Deir Ezzor and its southeastern countryside on the direction of Al-Bukmal city.

SANA said that the army units engaged in fierce clashes with ISIS terrorist groups in Howeijet Saqer and al-Sinaa neighborhood, as the army air force and artillery directed intensive strikes on ISIS fortifications and hideouts in the neighborhoods of al-Sheikh Yassin, Souk al-Hal, Sinema Fouad Street, al-Howeiqa, al-Jbeiliyeh, al-Rashdiyeh, al-Ummal, Kanamat, Khasarat and al-Aradi.

Russia Expects US to Clarify Its New Policy on Syria

MOSCOW- Washington’s new approach towards Syria triggers numerous questions, and Moscow hopes to receive an honest answer to them, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday, Itar Tass reported.

"We maintain contacts with our US counterparts on the Syrian problem, including the so-called deconfliction, between both military officials and diplomats," the Russian minister said at a news conference following meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari. "When we hear about the United States’ new line, which implies the creation of some local councils in sovereign Syria, of course, this fact cannot fail to raise eyebrows."

Syrian Minister: US, Turkish Military Presence in Country - Aggression

 The US-led coalition, consisting of over 70 members, including Turkey, has been conducting military operations in Syria without Damascus' approval or UN mandate.

According to Syria's Information Minister Mohammed Ramiz Tarjaman, Syria considers the entry of the Turkish military into Idlib, and the US military's presence in al-Tanf as aggression violating Syria's sovereignty and UN resolutions, and the country has the right to respond, as he claimed in an interview with RIA Novosti.

"We do not consider any city liberated until the Syrian Arab army enters it and lifts the Syrian flag over it. This applies to any point of the Syrian map," Tardjaman said according to the Sputnik. 

According to him, Damascus regards the withdrawal of the Daesh terror group (banned in Russia) from Raqqa as a positive event, but it still requires the Syrian troops to enter into the city for it to be fully liberated 'regardless of whether Daesh is there or some other faction or organization'.

 

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US Closest Allies Oppose Trump's Anti-JCPOA Policies: Iran FM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says even the staunchest allies of the US have voiced their opposition to US President Donald Trump’s policies on the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and Washington’s possible withdrawal from it.

 “The policies of the Tramp administration are isolated in the world,” Zarif told reporters upon his arrival in the South African capital city of Pretoria on Sunday, Press TV reported.