Baku captured Armenian servicemen
1 Azerbaijan. Capture of the Armenian military
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry stated that a reconnaissance and sabotage group of Armenian servicemen tried to enter Azerbaijan. 6 Armenian servicemen were taken prisoner. The Armenian Foreign Ministry stated that the capture of servicemen is a provocation, and it is aimed at a further escalation of the situation, which could seriously undermine the regional peace and stability. The Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that the actions of Baku can be considered an abduction, since «the Armenian servicemen were on the sovereign territory of Armenia. They laid mines on the border, and set up warning signs. They didn’t do it for sabotage purposes». Yerevan stated that Armenia expects a reaction from the CSTO on the capture of 6 Armenian servicemen by Azerbaijan.
2 Syria. Elections
The voting in the presidential elections has ended in Syria. The votes are being counted. According to the latest data, the current president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, is in the lead. 80% of the population took part in the elections. Earlier, the Supreme Judicial Committee of Syria extended the voting for 5 more hours, from 19:00 to midnight, due to the large number of citizens on the polling stations. Before the end of voting, festivities with national music and dances began in Damascus and other cities.
3 Afghanistan. The US troop withdrawal
The Pentagon spokesman John Kirby stated that the deadline of the pulling of the US military from Afghanistan hasn’t changed. He noted that the US military personnel should be completely pulled from Afghanistan in early September. Thus, John Kirby commented on the information that appeared in the mass media that the USA could complete the pulling of troops in mid-July. Earlier it was reported that the USA had pulled up to 25% of their troops by now.
4 The UN. Investigation into Israeli strikes in Gaza
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet stated that there was no evidence that civilian buildings in Gaza, which came under Israeli attacks, were used for military purposes. She noted that «airstrikes in such densely populated areas have resulted in large numbers of dead and injured people, and in a widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure». Michelle Bachelet stated that if the attacks would be found to be «indiscriminate and out of proportion on their impact on the civilians — such attacks could constitute as war crimes». She added that the deployment of military assets in densely populated areas and the launching of attacks from such areas «is also a violation of the humanitarian law».
5 Ukraine. Negotiations on Donbass
The Ukrainian permanent representative to the contact group, Leonid Kravchuk, stated on air of the ’Ukraine-24’ TV channel that Minsk can no longer be a platform for negotiations on a settlement in Donbass. According to him — this is related to the situation with the ’Ryanair’ aircraft, in Belarus. He noted that Ukraine won’t send any flights to Belarus. He also added that Kiev will look for a new platform, and will turn to all the parties of the negotiations with the question of finding a new place, first of all — to the OSCE.
6 Mali. Country situation
The ’France-Presse’ reported that the interim president of Mali, Ba Ndao, and the prime minister, Moktar Uan, have been released from the custody. This was reportedly the result of an agreement with a Mali-based delegation of mediators from the Economic Community of the West African States. Official Mali announced on Wednesday that Ba Ndao and Moktar Uan had resigned. Constantine Reztsov, specially for the ANNA NEWS