Russian Military: Situation in Rukban Camp Made Worse by Crimes of US-Backed Militants

MOSCOW- The dire humanitarian situation in the Rukban refugee camp, located within the 55-km security zone surrounding US Tanf base, is made worse by lawlessness on behalf of US-supported militants, the head of the Russian center for reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria told reporters, according to Itar Tass.

"The situation in the Rukban camp is made worse by widespread crime. Refugees are forced to stay in the camp and suffer from lawlessness on behalf of militant groups supported by the United States," Maj. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin said.

He said that the Syrian government offered security guarantees to refugees willing to leave the camp, and offered to issue new documents instead of their lost ones under a simplified procedure.

49 Killed in 'Terrorist' Attack on Two Mosques in New Zealand

At least one gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 20 during Friday prayers at two New Zealand mosques in the country's worst ever mass shooting, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned as terrorism, according to Press TV.

A gunman broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a "manifesto" in which he denounced immigrants, calling them "invaders".

New Zealand was placed on its highest security threat level, Ardern said, adding that four people taken into custody held extremist views but had not been on any police watchlists, Press TV reported, citing Reuters.

Astana Process Provided Effective Platform to Find Political Settlement in Syria: Kosachev

ASTANA, (ST)- Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Russian Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev has stressed that Astana process has provided an effective platform to solve the crisis in Syria.

During a meeting between members from the Senate of Kazakhstan and a delegation from the Russian Federation Council in the Kazakh capital Astana,  Kosachev said, according to Tass, that Astana process will continue to be an effective platform to find political settlement in Syria and to unite "different stances".

China Offers Help to Restore Power in Venezuela

China says it is ready to help crisis-hit Venezuela to restore power in the country, as the South American nation faces a crippling multi-day power blackout that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has blamed on the United States.

Venezuela has been in political turmoil over the past few months. Opposition figure Juan Guaido declared himself Venezuela’s “interim president” on January 23, deepening the crisis. Washington took the lead in recognizing the 35-year-old opposition figure’s claim, followed by the US’s major European allies, including France, Germany, and Britain.

Maduro has repeatedly blamed Venezuela’s woes on US intervention and accused Washington of attempting a coup as well as sabotage against his government.

British Parliament to Vote on Brexit Delay, PM Seeks to Revive Her Deal

LONDON  -  Britain’s parliament was due to vote on Thursday on whether to delay Brexit beyond March 29 and Prime Minister Theresa May prepared to push lawmakers to vote again before then on her EU divorce deal, which they have twice rejected.

Key to May’s plan will be an attempt to persuade the most pro-Brexit lawmakers to reverse their opposition to her deal in the face of a possibly long delay that could mean Britain ends up with a closer relationship with the EU than May’s plan foresees or that Brexit is overturned in a second referendum.

Kremlin Points to US Missile-Testing Plans as Proof Washington Sought INF Breakdown

MOSCOW- The US plans to test missiles banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty come as a "logical continuation" of Washington’s position, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

"We [Russia] categorically disagree with any reproaches against us to the effect that we have not kept loyalty to this document [the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty]. On the contrary, we demonstrated to all, using arguments and proof, that precisely the United States became the source of dismantling this document as it actually made breaches [of this treaty]," the Kremlin spokesman said.

The United States used systems that "de facto were in violation of the basic provisions of the INF Treaty, Peskov said.

Senate Urges Halt to US Support for Saudi War on Yemen in Rebuke to Trump

The US Senate has once again rebuked President Donald Trump for his policy toward Riyadh by approving a resolution that would put an end to Washington’s support for the Saudi-led coalition in the devastating war it has waged on Yemen since 2015.

The Republican-led Senate passed the resolution on Wednesday by a 54 to 46 tally, seeking to halt any US military involvement in the conflict, including providing targeting support for Saudi airstrikes, without authorization from Congress.

Introduced by Senators Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee and Chris Murphy, the resolution will scale back the US role in and American military assistance for Saudi war on Yemen ahead of the fourth anniversary of the day when the Saudi-led coalition started its campaign against the impoverished nation.

Visit to Iraq a turning point in bilateral ties: Pres. Rouhani

TEHRAN– President Hassan Rouhani described his three-day visit to Iraq as a turning point in the bilateral relations between the two countries, saying that the talks and decisions made during the trip would benefit both neighboring nations.

Speaking at Mehrabad Airport upon arrival in Tehran late on Wednesday, Rouhani described the visit as a promising turning point in the relations between the two countries, adding that "no power and third state can divide the great Iranian and Iraqi nations and governments.”