Russia, China Abstain from Security Council Vote on Aid to Syria Bypassing Damascus

 UNITED NATIONS- Russia and China on Thursday abstained from the UN Security Council vote to extend the delivery of humanitarian cargo to Syria from the territory of neighboring states bypassing Damascus.

The resolution was supported by 13 member states. Russia and China abstained.

In line with the document, the so-called trans-border operations will be extended for one year and no permission from Syria’s official government is required for them, according to Itar Tass.

The document demands that all sides provide free, unimpeded and stable access to humanitarian convoys of UN and its partners to any region and any group of population.

US Senate Passes Resolutions on Stopping US Aid to Saudi War on Yemen, Blaming MBS for Khashoggi Murder

 The US Senate has voted to stop US armed forces from supporting Saudi Arabia in its military aggression against its impoverished southern neighbor, Yemen, Press TV reported.

The historic bipartisan vote on Thursday, for the first time, invoked Congress' war powers to challenge US military involvement abroad despite the Trump administration's unwavering support for the Saudi regime in its aggression against Yemen.

Press TV said that the 56-to-41 vote by the Democrats and some Republicans was both a condemnation of the Saudi-led war on Yemen – which has killed thousands of civilians and created a humanitarian crisis – and another rebuke to US President Donald Trump for his all-out support for the Saudi regime and its disgraced de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman --known by media as MbS -- who ordered the murder of US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Russia Says Imposing the Israeli Laws on Occupied Syrian Golan Unacceptable

MOSCOW- Spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova has stressed that imposing the Israeli laws on the occupied Syrian Golan is unacceptable pursuant to international laws.

In her weekly briefing on Thursday, Zakharova reiterated that "Russia takes a principled stance on the issue of Syria’s ownership of the Golan. That was confirmed by the 1981 UN Security Council Resolution 497. Our approach to Israel’s illegal decision to extend its sovereignty to the Golan has remained unchanged. Changing the Golan's status bypassing the Security Council is a direct violation of UN decisions," she stressed, according to Itar Tass.

US and allies rely on defunct resolutions: Zarif

TEHRAN– Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has reacted to the “latest mockery” of the US Secretary of State regarding Iran’s ballistic missile activity.

In a Thursday tweet, Zarif berated US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who on Wednesday, “bragged about violating the Resolution 2231 of the United Nations Security Council” and also outlined plans for more violations against the Islamic Republic’s rights, according to the Mehr News Agency.

Further in his tweet, Zarif noted that Pompeo’s remarks “confirmed that the US and allies rely on the defunct Resolution 1929 on provision on missiles.”

Shooting at Christmas Market in France Leaves Three Dead, Many Injured

Police in the French city of Strasbourg have reported that a shooting attack occurred near the city's famous Christmas Market. Three people were killed in the shooting and another 12 were injured, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said Wednesday, according to Sputnik.

"Here, in Strasbourg, from 19.50 [local time, 18.50 GMT on Tuesday] a man… killed three people, another 12 were injured," French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said. He added that the six victims were in critical condition.

The minister also said that France would raise the security threat level and strengthen border controls as well as counter-terrorism measures.

US Continues to Hold Area around Syria’s al-Tanf and Protect 6,000 Terrorists: Russian MoD

MOSCOW-  The United States continues holding the 55 km zone around the Syrian community of al-Tanf where 6,000 militants are staying, Head of Russia’s National Defense Control Center Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev said on Tuesday, according to Itar Tass.

"Perhaps, only our American partners do not want to see up to date how much has been done to revive peaceful life in Syria. They are holding with incomprehensible stubbornness the occupied 55 km area around al-Tanf where 6,000 armed militants are on the loose and are preventing the disbanding of the Rukban refugee camp," the general said at a session of the inter-departmental coordination headquarters of Russia and Syria for the return of refugees to Syrian territory.

US Sold Most Weapons Last Year, Russia Distant Second

American weapons makers continue to dominate the global arms trade, accounting for over half of all the weapons sold in the world last year while Russia continued to gradually expand its market, a new study shows.

The new international arms industry data released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday showed that global weapons sales reached $398.2 billion last year.

Raking in the highest profits were 42 American companies with overall sales of $226.6 billion, a whopping 57 percent of all arms deals signed by the world’s Top 100 arms makers. That’s a two-percent increase in sales compared to 2016.

The US-based company Lockheed Martin remained on top of the 100 largest military companies, with sales amounting to $44 billion -- no other company in the industry could get close.

Russia blames Washington for ‘deplorable situation’ in al-Rukban Camp

MOSCOW-Russian Foreign Ministry said responsibility for the situation in al-Rukban camp reaching an impasse rests with the United States, according to SANA.

 “The entire responsibility for the deplorable situation in the (Rukban refugee) camp rests with the United States which illegally occupies this region of the United Nations member state,” the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

“We call on the United States to immediately withdraw its troops from the area around al-Tanf and cede control over this territory to the Syrian government, which will take care of its citizens,” the ministry stressed, indicating that part of the humanitarian aid provided to the Camp’s locals have ended up in the hands of terrorists.