Idlib is under fire
The head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria, Rear-Admiral Alexander Shcherbitsky, reported that the terrorist group ‘Jebhat al-Nusra’ attacked several settlements in the Syrian province of Idlib. “There was one shelling of the village of Khas, and one shelling of the village of Kafer-Nebel, in the province of Idlib. The shelling came from the positions of the terrorist organization ‘Jebhat al-Nusra’ ” — Alexander Shcherbitsky reported.
The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that on Thursday, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Vershinin, and the US Special Envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, discussed the political settlement of Syria over the telephone. «The situation on the ‘ground’ was discussed, which included the tasks to ensure the stabilization of Idlib, the territory beyond the Euphrates River, and the south of Syria» — the Russian Foreign Ministry reports. «The issues of advancing of the political settlement of the Syrian crisis in accordance with the resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council were examined in detail. The resolution provides a commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Syria» — the Russian Foreign Ministry concluded.
3 The USA — Libya
The US Assistant to the Secretary of State for the Middle East Affairs, David Schenker, stated during a briefing that the USA approve some of the measures, made to overcome the crisis in Libya, which were proposed by the Cairo initiative. However, the USA consider the most productive form of resolution of the crisis to be a peace process under the UN flag, and via the continuation of the Berlin conference. David Schenker added that the reason for the «Turkish intervention» in Libya was the «Russian presence» in the country — the press service of the US State Department quoted David Schenker. “We see the ongoing intervention of the foreign actors as a challenge to the US interests, and a challenge to the regional stability of the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as a tragedy for the Libyan people. Libyans want peace, and an end to the foreign intervention” — Schenker concluded. According to him, the US «continue to call for the de-escalation, a ceasefire, and a return to the political negotiations». The Russian authorities have repeatedly denied the allegations of a Russian military presence in Libya.
The »TOLO news» TV reports, while referring to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Afghanistan: an IED detonated in the ‘Sher Shah Suri’ mosque, in western Kabul. The explosion killed 4 people, including the imam. The ‘Reuters’ reported about a large number of victims.
Mohammad Sohail Shahin, the representative of the Qatari Taliban political office, reported on Twitter about the release of 76 previously captured Afghan servicemen and policemen. “Today, 46 soldiers and police officers, related to the Kabul administration, were released. In addition, 30 soldiers, also related to the administration and recently detained in Ghazni, were released as a goodwill gesture” — Shahin reported. On Thursday, the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, announced that on the next week there will be new steps towards the interal Afghan settlement. The US Special Representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, stated that the US administration has called on the Afghan and Taliban authorities to complete the exchange of PoWs as soon as possible, and to begin the peace talks. In his view — the start of the internal Afghan negotiations is «as close as ever». «All parties must work jointly to get to the negotiating table as soon as possible, in order to not let the opponents to undermine the process, and to not betray the hopes of the Afghan people, and their desire for peace» — the diplomat concluded.