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Russia denies secret force in Syria

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Kremlin officials have dismissed allegations of a major Russian military deployment to Syria, after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raised the issue with his Russian counterpart.

Reports circulating in recent days quoted unnamed Western diplomats saying a Russian expeditionary force is already in Syria to prepare for the arrival of an “aerial contingent” of fighter jets and attack helicopters for “strikes against ISIS targets in Syria.”

In a telephone call over the weekend, Kerry warned the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, that — if the reports are true — the Russian military presence “could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent lives, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation” with an (anti-ISIS) coalition operating in Syria, according to a statement from the U.S. State Department.

Russia denies secret force in Syria

<> on August 9, 2013 in Washington, DC.

But the Kremlin is categorically denying as “premature” the allegations that it has any military ambitions in Syria, although it admits sending weapons and advisers to assist its Syrian ally, President Bashar al Assad.

The Kremlin – -which has a strategic naval base at Tartus in Syria — has also made no secret of its deep alarm at the prospect of its key ally in the Middle East being toppled. If Assad falls, it worries, so too may Russian influence in the region.

Concerned about its own simmering Islamist insurgency in its restive North Caucasus region, the Kremlin also has genuine security concerns about ISIS.

Hundreds of Russian citizens have already joined the militant group, which identifies Russia as a key enemy and has vowed attacks to avenge Moscow’s longstanding support for the Syrian government.

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Middle East

Swiss voters reject ‘money for nothing’ income plan

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Swiss voters rejected by a wide margin on Sunday a proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for everyone living in the wealthy country after an uneasy debate about the future of work at a time of increasing automation. (more…)

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Asia

Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, former civil aviation minister in Afghanistan Killed during US Airstrike

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Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour  and former civil aviation minister in Afghanistan during the Taliban rule has probably been killed in a US air strike, US officials say.

Both Pakistan and Afghanistan were informed about the strike, said a US State Department spokesperson, without clarifying whether the notification was made in advance before the air strike

He and another male combatant were targeted as they rode in a vehicle in a remote area of Pakistan close to the Afghan border, the officials said. (more…)

© 2016, Michael Isaac. All rights reserved.

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Middle East

Bombings In Baghdad Leave About 70 Dead

Ayandola Ayanleke

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isis-620x330The capital city of Baghdad, Iraq faced a series of bomb attacks that left about 70 people dead and 100 wounded. (more…)

© 2016, Ayandola Ayanleke. All rights reserved.

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