Collective Security Treaty Organization Reaffirms Support for Syria's Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity

MINSK-The member countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) have called for the end of the crisis in Syria "by political and diplomatic means, through national dialogue without preconditions or external interference," according to  final statement of the CSTO summit in Minsk, Agencia EFE reported on Thursday.

"The leaders of the CSTO member countries reaffirm their support for the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria," the statement said.

US-Led Coalition Announces More than 400 US Troops Are Leaving Syria

WASHINGTON, (ST)-  The U.S.-led coalition, purportedly  fighting Daesh terrorist organization in Syria, said on Thursday that more than 400 US soldiers will return to the United States from Syria.

AFP quoted Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the international coalition, as saying on Twitter that "more than 400 US Marines soldiers are getting ready to leave Syria"

In a statement the coalition said that "with the city of Raqqa liberated from Daesh, the unit has been ordered home and its replacements have been called off," according to Reuters.

The coalition's announcement comes after contradiction emerged regarding the number of the US forces in Syria.

Lavrov: Syria’s Territorial Integrity Absolute Necessity

MOSCOW- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov affirmed on Monday that Syria’s territorial integrity is an absolute necessity and a principle which is non-negotiable.

Lavrov told Russian Interfax News Agency that Syria’s territorial integrity is confirmed in UN Security Council resolutions and approved in Sochi tripartite summit of Russia, Iran and Turkey, noting that the international resolution no.2254 stipulates that Syrians are the only ones who will decide the destiny of their country, SANA reported.

De Mistura: Intra-Syrian Talks in Geneva Should be Held “without Preconditions”

NEW YORK- UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura re-affirmed that the Syrian talks in Geneva should be resumed “without preconditions.”

“We will seek to push for serious talks and will not accept any preconditions from any party. The opposition should show its unity and readiness to speak in one voice without preconditions according to Resolution 2254,” de Mistura told UN Security Council in a video briefing, according to SANA,

He added that the intra-Syrian talks will focus on issues related to constitution, elections then “the rule” and counter-terrorism, affirming that there is no alternative to help Syrians “rebuild procedures of trust” and to resolve the issue of kidnapped people and the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need.

Iran Could Increase its Missile Range ‘If Europe Becomes a Threat’

Europe is not a threat to Iran, but just in case it allies itself with the US and Israel and becomes one, Tehran has enough technical capabilities to increase the range of its missiles, the commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps has warned.

“Both the United States and the European Union and the Zionist regime are keen to disarm us,” Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, the second-in-command of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said on Saturday. “If we have kept the range of our missiles to 2,000 kilometers, it’s not due to lack of technology… We are following a strategic doctrine.”

“So far, we have felt that Europe is not a threat, so we did not increase the range of our missiles. But if Europe wants to turn into a threat, we will increase the range of our missiles,” he added, according to a Reuters translation of the Fars report.

Lavrov Calls for Implementing UN Resolution on Syria

MOSCOW- All Moscow’s efforts are aimed at implementing the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 2254 on the Syrian settlement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the meeting with UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

"Many events occur, which at first glance develop simultaneously, but which should definitely have a single goal of meeting the conditions and those tasks that are set in the UN Security Council’s resolution," Lavrov said.

"All our steps taken by Russia in contact with many foreign players and certainly, the UN, over the past months and also a couple of years are aimed directly at this," he said, according to Itar Tass.

India PM Hopes Syria Will Triumph over Terrorism

NEW DELHI, (ST)- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hoped that Syria will triumph in its war on terrorism.

He made the remarks during his meeting on Friday with the Syrian delegation participating the Global Conference on Cyber Space. The Syrian delegation is led by Minister of Communications and Technology  Ali al-Dhfeir.

Modi affirmed the importance of Syria's participation in the activities of the conference which concluded today in New Delhi.

Moscow Brands US Presence in Syria as Close to Occupation

Russia has criticized Washington’s disregard for international law following a report that US troops will remain in Syria after the defeat of ISIS in order to prop up local Kurdish forces and put pressure on Damascus.

According to RT, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that there were no legal grounds for the US to have a military presence in Syria. “They are there not only without permission from Damascus, but also in direct violation of the wishes of the Syrian government. In fact, what they are doing could be described as occupation,” the official added.