Russian Air Defenses in Syria Shoot Down Drone Launched by Terrorists in Idleb

The number of violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement by terrorist groups operating in the Idlib de-escalation zone has increased by 50 percent in the past week, Maj. Gen. Alexei Tsygankov, head of the Russian Center for Syrian reconciliation, said Monday.

"Despite the established ceasefire regime, the number of violations by illegal armed groups operating in the Idlib de-escalation zone has sharply increased over the past week. A total of 65 instances of shelling were registered between July 23 and 29. The number of violations has increased by 50 percent compared to the previous week," Tsygankov said at a news briefing, according to Sputnik.

Russia Seeks Agreement with West on Common Principles of Work on Syrian Refugees

DVORIKI VILLAGE/Vladimir Region/ Russia plans to agree with its Western partners on the principles of joint work on Syrian refugees, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said addressing the Territory of Meanings National Educational Youth Forum on Monday, Itar Tass reported.

"Together with the Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov during the visit to Paris we discussed with the colleagues the Syrian refugees issue," Lavrov said. "We want to agree on the principles of joint work on this issue."

"This is a pressing issue for both Europeans and the entire Middle East region," Lavrov stressed.

Death Toll from Greek Wildfire Rises to 92

ATHENS- Greek Coast Guard divers have recovered the body of another victim of the July 23rd wildfire in Mati in eastern Attica in the sea area, bringing the death toll to 92, Greek national news agency AMNA reported on Monday, according to Xinhua.

And 25 persons remain missing after the devastated blaze hit the coastal resort 30 km east of Athens.

The government will restore the fire stricken areas and help all those hurt by adopting quick procedures that will be simple and without bureaucracy, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told a press briefing on Monday, according to an e-mailed statement.

British Writer Criticizes UK’s Government over Decision to Welcome “White Helmets” Members

LONDON, (ST)- British writer and journalist Peter Hitchens says that the UK’s government and a number of other western countries have hurried to smuggle members of the so-called “White Helmets” group from Syria’s southern region despite the close connection linking between this group and terrorist organizations in Syria including Jabhat al-Nusra. He stresses that this move raise a big question, particularly in the in the light of Britain’s decision to welcome and settle a number of the White Helmets members.

In the past few days, the Israeli enemy carried out a “secret night operation” to smuggle some 800 members of what is called “white Helmets” and their families from an area in the south of Syria in preparation to transfer them to Jordan where they are to be moved to a number of western countries.

Russian Air Force in Syria Destroys UAV Launched Toward Hmeimim Base

The Russian Center for Coordination and Reconciliation in Syria has called on the commanders of illegal armed formations to give up provocations and agree to a peaceful settlement of the conflict in areas under their control, Sputnik reported.

"On the 27th of July, the Russian Air Force detected and destroyed a UAV, launched from the territory under the control of illegal armed formations in the north of the province of Latakia heading towards the Russian air base Hmeymim," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a report, adding that the incident has not resulted in damages or casualties.

Putin: BRICS Summit Affirms Support for Political Settlement in Syria

JOHANNESBURG-Russian President Vladimir Putin said the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa emphasized the support for a political settlement to the crisis in Syria and fighting terrorism until its complete elimination, SANA reported.

Speaking at a press conference at the conclusion of the summit on Friday, Putin said that the group’s countries “have taken a positive stance on our proposal regarding the humanitarian initiative in Syria through ramping up their activity in the humanitarian action to help the Syrian people.”

Russia Urges EU to Create Conditions for Syrian Refugees’ Return

MOSCOW - Russia is confident that it is impossible to achieve a lasting settlement in Syria without solving the problem of Syrian refugees’ return, the EU should facilitate this process, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told TASS.

"This issue continues to be topical. We talk to everyone without exception, not only to Europeans but other countries too, which can play a role in that matter. Of course, it is impossible to achieve a lasting settlement in Syria without solving the problem of refugees’ return," he stressed.

BRICS Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Political Solution of Crisis in Syria

 JOHANNESBURG, (ST)- BRICS Group leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to a political resolution of the crisis in Syria, through an inclusive "Syrian-led, Syrian-owned" political process that safeguards the state sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, in pursuance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015) and taking into account the result of the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi.