Russian Transport Plane Crashes upon Landing in Syria, all 39 on Board Dead

A Russian military transport airplane has crashed during landing at Khmeimim Airbase in Syria. Six crew members as well as 33 passengers, all of them military personnel, were killed in the crash.

According to preliminary information, the incident could have been caused by a technical malfunction, the Russian defense ministry said.

“Around 15:00 (Moscow time, 12:00 GMT), a Russian An-26 transport aircraft crashed while coming in for landing at the Khmeimim airbase,” the statement issued by the ministry said. “All those on board died [in the incident],” it added, according to RT.

Kremlin Slams Claims on Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria as Mudslinging

MOSCOW- Moscow believes that only international experts can draw any conclusions on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and given the lack of evidence such claims are nothing but mudslinging, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

"We believe that the only thing that can be a reason for any accusations is the conclusion by an international commission, the conclusion by an international working group. You may call it as you like, but there [should be] the result of an unbiased investigation," Peskov told reporters, according to Itar Tass.

"As there is no such [investigation] any accusations are nothing but mudslinging," he said.

Russia Urges US Not to Hinder UN Access to Syria's Raqqa

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the only areas in Syria where the requirements of UN Security Council Resolution 2401 are completely ignored and there is no help for the population remains the destroyed city of Raqqa, as well as the Al-Rukban refugee camp in the US-controlled area of At-Tanf.

Since the entry into force of the resolution, no humanitarian convoy has been delivered there. The residents' situation is estimated to be a humanitarian disaster, Sputnik reported.

"We urge the United States to fulfill its obligations under UNSC 2401, not to impede access to controlled areas for representatives of international humanitarian organizations and the UN to assess the severity of the humanitarian situation and take urgent measures to provide the necessary assistance to the civilian population," the statement said.

Washington Using Syria's al-Tanf Area as a Cover for Terrorists

US special operations forces and other military units have contributed to the creation of a safe haven for terrorists in western Syria's al-Tanf, according to Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin, Sputnik reported.

Speaking to the Russian TV news network Rossiya 24, the country's Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin suggested that Washington is using a zone it controls in western Syria as a cover for terrorists.

Russian Military Detects Terrorist Snipers Haunting Civilians in Eastern Ghouta

HMEIMIM- The situation around the humanitarian corridor in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta remains tense, with snipers regularly firing at access routes, spokesman for the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation and coordination Maj. Gen. Yury Yevtushenko said Friday.

"[The] situation near the check point is still strained. Since yesterday evening, snipers have been shelling at approaches to the check point. Today, the Jaysh al-Islam terrorists have carried out two mortar attacks from eastern outskirts of Douma targeting the security corridor leading to the check point near Mukhayam al-Wafedin," Yevtushenko said, according to Sputnik.

DPRK Rejects Claims about Chemical Cooperation with Syria as ‘Mean US Trick’

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has dismissed claims about its cooperation with Syria over chemical weapons, saying such claims are mere US fabrications meant to put more pressure on Pyongyang and justify the American military intervention in Syria.

"As we have clearly said several times, our republic does not develop, produce, and stockpile chemical weapons and opposes chemical weapons themselves,” the state-run television KRT cited a spokesman at the DPRK Foreign Ministry’s research institute of American studies as saying Friday, Press TV reported.

West, Silent on Damascus Shelling, Threatens Ghouta Action

France has joined the US and Britain in threatening Damascus with possible airstrikes in the event of  what they call "further chemical weapons use in Syri"a.

Their threats on Friday came as terrorist groups continued shelling a safe corridor declared by the Syrian government for civilians to leave Eastern Ghouta.

Takfiri terrorists have turned the enclave on the suburbs of Damascus to a launch pad for mortar attacks on Damascus.

Putin: New Arms Race Started by US Pulling Out of Missile Treaty

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied accusations he revived an arms race by unveiling Russia’s new nuclear deterrent. That was done by US President George W. Bush killing a 30-year-old missile treaty in 2002, he told NBC.

In an interview with NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today” on Thursday, the Russian leader brushed off claims in the Western media that by introducing new nuclear-powered missiles, including the hypersonic Sarmat, he has signaled a new arms race. The alarmist rhetoric that fills Western news outlets is just another form of propaganda, Putin said, according to RT.