Russian Army Downs Unidentified Drones near Khmeimim Air Base in Syria

A group of unidentified drones has been shot down by Russia’s Air Defense units near Khmeimim Air Base in Syria, the Russian MoD has announced. No damage to the facility was reported.

The objects were detected north-east from the military facility on Saturday, the base’s authorities said. “All aerial targets were destroyed,” they confirmed. The military, however, stopped short of naming exact weapon systems which were used to bring down the drones, RT reported.

This is not the first time Khmeimim Air Base, located south-east of the port of Latakia, has been targeted with unmanned aircraft this year. In May, the Russian MoD said its units also downed a drone near the military compound.

Moscow to Decide on Military Presence in Syria Depending on Damascus’ Position

MOSCOW- A decision on the Russian military presence in Syria after the end of the war on terror on its territory will be made proceeding from Damascus’s position, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said in a TV interview on Saturday.

"When the war on terror is over and when there is no need to help Syrians in the fight against terrorism, we will be oriented to the decision of the sovereign state represented by its government: whether we are needed or whether our mission is over and the Syrian people and the Syrian leadership do not need such support," the senior Russian diplomat said, Itar Tass reported.

Lavrov: President al-Assad Is Defending Entire Region against Terrorism

MOSCOW – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that President Bashar al-Assad isn’t just defending Syria; he is defending the entire region against terrorism.

In an interview given to Britain’s Channel 4 on Friday, Lavrov said that President al-Assad is defending Syria’s sovereignty and unity, and on a wider scale he is defending the entire region against terrorists, SANA reported.

He reiterated that the Syrians alone will decide Syria’s future, stressing that the actions of Daesh (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists are obstructing the implementation of the de-escalation agreement in the southern area in Syria.

Lafarge Charged with Complicity in Crimes against Humanity in Syria

The French cement giant Lafarge was charged on Thursday with complicity in crimes against humanity and financing terror groups, for paying millions to terrorists, including the so-called Islamic State (Daesh) terror group, to "keep a factory open in Syria".

The company has also been charged with endangering the lives of former employees at the cement plant in Jalabiya, northern Syria, the Guardian reported.

Lafarge, which has since merged with Swiss firm Holcim, immediately said it would appeal against the charges.

The accusations are the most serious against a French company in years.

A panel of three judges in Paris ordered Lafarge to hand over €30m (£27m) to authorities as a security deposit ahead of the trial.

Eight former executives, including the former chief executive Bruno Lafont, have already been charged with financing a terrorist group and/or endangering the lives of others over Lafarge’s activities in Syria between 2011 and 2015.

Moscow: Terrorist Organizations in Southern Syria Should Be Eliminated

MOSCOW-Russian Foreign Ministry affirmed the need to fight and eliminate terrorist organizations in southern Syria, noting that the United States has not fulfilled its obligations in this regard.

In a press conference in Moscow on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova affirmed the need for fighting the terrorist organizations deployed in the de-escalation zone in southern Syria and eliminating them.

She pointed out that the US has not fulfilled its obligations to implement the agreements on cessation of hostilities in southwestern Syria, according to SANA.

Diplomat Slams Decision on OPCW as Blow to Chemical Weapons Prohibition

MOSCOW- Russia does not consider the mechanism of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which will get an opportunity to identify those behind the use of chemical weapons, to be legitimate, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters on Thursday.

"Of course, we do not consider the work of the so-called attributive mechanism to be legitimate," he said, Itar Tass reported.

Xi to Mattis: China Won't Give Up 'One Inch' of Its Territory

Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned the United States that Beijing cannot give up even an inch of territory in the face of Washington’s belligerent military activities in the region.

 “We cannot lose even one inch of the territory left behind by our ancestors. What is other people’s we do not want at all,” Xi said while meeting visiting US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday, Press TV reported.

Mattis and other US officials have repeatedly criticized China’s increasing military deployment in the disputed South China Sea region.

Russia's Syria Operation Protects Europe from Daesh, Migrant Crisis: Senior Russian MP

Russian anti-terrorist operations in Syria have provided peace and security for Europe, deputy Duma speaker Irina Yarovaya has said, adding that ending wars in third world countries is the best way to stop the migration crisis, RT reported.

“Today Russia is one of the world nations that is protecting not only its national interests in Syria. Russia provides peace and security for the whole of Europe and, of course, for countries with the Orthodox Faith. The ISIS (Daesh) terrorists that were killed in the course of the successful operation conducted jointly by Russia and Syria would never be able to commit any crimes in Europe,” MP Irina Yarovaya (United Russia) stated in her speech before the general assembly of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in Athens, Greece.