Russia Cuts De-Confliction Channel with Washington after US Downs Syrian Jet

Russia will regard any flights within area of its air force group's operation in Syria as legitimate targets

MOSCOW- Moscow is terminating its communication channel with the United States under a memorandum for preventing incidents in Syria's skies, as a consequence for the US downing a Syrian Su-22 plane, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Monday, according to ItarTass.

"As of June 19 this year, the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation has ended its interaction with the US side under a memorandum for preventing incidents and providing for safe flights during operations in Syria and demands that the US command carry out a careful investigation and report about its results and the measures taken," the statement reads.

Lavrov Stresses Any Action on Ground in Syria Should be Coordinated with Damascus

BEIJING- All countries should respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and coordinate any actions "on the ground" with Damascus, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following a meeting between BRICS foreign ministers on Monday.

"As for what is happening ‘on the ground’ in Syria, we proceed from the assumption that it is necessary to fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity in Syria, the way it is envisaged by UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and other UN documents," the minister said. "Therefore, any actions ‘on the ground’, and there are many participants there, including those who carry out military operations, should be coordinated with Damascus," he added, according to Itar Tass.

US, Egypt Welcome 48-Hour Cessation of Combat Operations in Syria's Daraa

WASHINGTON, (ST)- The United States has welcomed the Syrian Army General Command's announcement of the 48-hour cessation of combat operations in the Syrian city of Daraa that seeks supporting national reconciliation.

 "We welcome any initiative to reduce tensions and violence in southern Syria, the US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Saturday, urging  the armed groups to similarly halt attacks to allow the ceasefire to endure — and hopefully be extended — and humanitarian aid to reach those in need.

US Intervention in Syria "State-Sponsored Terrorism": Pyongyang

PYONGYANG, (ST)- The news agency of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (KCNA) has described the US intervention in Syria as a "state-sponsored terrorism".

According to a report published by the agency, the US interventionist acts in Syria are becoming harmful day after day, noting that it is necessary to view these acts as flagrant act of international terrorism that aims at overthrowing the legitimate government in Syria and replacing it with a pro-Washington one.

Russian Airstrikes Kill 180 ISIS Terrorists Near Deir Ezzour

The Russian Ministry of Defense revealed on Saturday that approximately 180 ISIS militants and two field commanders were killed after Russian military intelligence learned of a looming attack on the besieged city of Deir Ezzour, according to the Russian "The Insider" website.

The concentration of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) forces near the besieged Syrian city was noticed by Russian surveillance drones in early June, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The military command decided to conduct preemptive airstrikes to prevent their ensuing attack.

Russia Hopes for Progress at Intra-Syrian Talks in Geneva on July 10

MOSCOW- Russia hopes that the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva will progress on July 10 after meetings in Kazakhstan’s Astana and Hamburg, Russian Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov told TASS on Saturday.

"That meeting in Geneva will be held after contacts over Syria in Astana and at G20 summit in Hamburg, where certain detailed discussions and contacts useful for the intra-Syrian settlement could also take place," said Bogdanov, who is also a deputy foreign minister, according to the Russian agency.

Putin: New Sanctions against Russia to Complicate Ties with US

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that new sanctions by the US Senate against Russia will complicate the relations between the two states, noting that it is too early to talk about retaliatory measures, Press T.V reported.

Putin made the remarks in an interview with Rossiya1 state TV channel, excerpts of which were released on Saturday.

"This will, indeed, complicate Russia-American relations. I think this is harmful," the Russian president said.

Zarif's Correspondence with Mogherini over US Breach of JCPOA

Tehran -A senior Iranian lawmaker said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's recent letter to EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini was a reaction to the West's default on the nuclear deal between Tehran and the P5+1 group.

Iran’s Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission spokesman HosseinNaqaviHosseini said both the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and Majlis ratification have predicted measures to deal with any default on the side of 5+1 Group of countries and Zarif's letter was part of this measures.

Commenting on the effect of sending the letter, the MP said it is not the fist time that Iran has sent a letter to Mogherini, who’s also in charge of the Joint Commission of the nuclear deal. The commission is tasked with monitoring the implementation of the accord.