Iraq Backs Political Solution in Syria Based on Respecting Its Independent Decision: Iraqi Presidency

BAGHDAD, (ST)- Iraq has affirmed its support for efforts that have been exerted to reach a political solution to the crisis in Syria and to put an end to foreign interference in the Syrian internal affairs.

Luqman al-Fili, the official spokesman for Iraq's President Barham Salih, said in a statement on Sunday that President Salih has always stressed the need to back efforts aiming at achieving a political solution to the crisis in Iraq's neighbor, Syria, based on respecting the country's independent decision and on ending foreign interference in its internal affairs.

Zarif: Support for Palestine, Iran’s Principled Policy

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has once again reiterated the Islamic Republic’s principled policy to support Palestine, urging all countries in the Muslim world to boost their unity to defend the Palestinian cause, al-Manar TV reported.

“We hope that some Muslim countries that have pinned their hopes on the support of the Zionists and the US will return to the Muslim world and realize that the Zionists are not a trustworthy friend or partner for anybody,” Zarif said in a meeting with a Palestinian parliamentary delegation led by senior Palestinian lawmaker, Mahmoud al-Zahar, in Tehran on Sunday.

US Forces' Withdrawal from Syrian Territories Would Help Settle Crisis in the Country: Iraq's President

BAGHDAD- Iraqi President Barham Salih said that the solution to the crisis in Syria is through respecting the decision of its people to determine the future of their country, emphasizing that the withdrawal of US forces from the Syrian territory should be a helping factor for settlement of the crisis, SANA reported.

According to a statement issued by the Iraqi President’s Office on Saturday, President Salih, during a phone call from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,  said that the “Syrian people paid a heavy price as a result of terrorism, which committed the most heinous crimes, in addition to the destructive foreign interventions."

UN Advance Team Arrives in Yemen’s Aden to Monitor Ceasefire in Hudaydah: Official

An advance team of the United Nations has arrived in Yemen with the task of monitoring a fragile ceasefire in the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah recently agreed by the two warring parties, namely Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and the country’s former Saudi-backed government, local officials say.

Houthis, who are in control of large parts of Yemen including the capital Sana'a, and the armed militia loyal to former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi reached an agreement on a ceasefire in the Houthi-held port on December 13, according to Press TV.

Israeli Forces Shoot Dead 3 Palestinians, Including Teen, Wound Dozens More in Gaza Strip

Three Palestinians, including a teenage, have been shot dead by Israeli fire and nearly fifty others have sustained injuries during anti-occupation protests along the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and Israeli-occupied territories, press TV reported.

Gaza's Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra said 16-year-old Mohammed al-Jahjuh was fatally shot in the neck, while 47 others, including a local journalist, were wounded by Israeli gunfire during border protests and clashes east of Gaza City on Friday.

Al-Jahjuh was "hit in the neck by a bullet (fired) by Israeli soldiers", the spokesman said.

Abdulaziz Ibrahim Abu Sharia, 27, and Maher Yaseen, 40, were the other fatalities of the Israeli attack.