Russia accuses US of ‘deadly provocations’ against Russian troops in Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov exits a room after attending a meeting of the parties to the Iran nuclear deal during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, US, September 20, 2017. (File photo by Reuters)
Updated 04 October 2017
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Russia accuses US of ‘deadly provocations’ against Russian troops in Syria

MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday accused the United States and its allies of orchestrating “deadly provocations” against Russian troops in Syria.
Moscow has complained about what it alleges are suspiciously friendly ties between US-backed militias, US special forces, and Daesh in Syria and accused Washington of trying to slow the advance of the Syrian army.
“There are a lot of questions to US-led forces in Syria,” Lavrov told pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat in an interview published on Wednesday.
“Either they accidentally bomb Syrian troops after which Daesh militants launch an offensive, or they get other terrorists to attack strategically important objects ... or they stage deadly provocations against our military servicemen.”
Lavrov’s deputy, Sergei Ryabkov, said last week that the “two-faced policy” of the United States was to blame for the death of Russian Lt. General Valery Asapov in Syria, something Washington flatly denied.
Asapov was killed by Daesh shelling.
Lavrov also said on Wednesday that the United States and the coalition it leads were “unwelcome guests” in Syria from the point of view of international law and accused Washington of “dividing terrorists into bad and no so bad ones.”


Afghan official: Taliban kill 7 police in eastern province

Updated 2 min 51 sec ago
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Afghan official: Taliban kill 7 police in eastern province

KABUL, Afghanistan: The Taliban stormed a police checkpoint in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province and killed seven policemen, a provincial official said Monday.
The attack took place the previous night in the district of Ghani Kahil, said the provincial police chief, Ghulam Sanayee Stanikzai. Five Taliban fighters were killed in the attack, he said.
Stanikzai also said that in Khogyani district, also in Nangarhar province, a government airstrike on Sunday night left 20 Taliban fighters dead.
There was no statement from the Taliban on either the Ghani Kahil attack or the airstrike.
Earlier on Sunday, a suicide bomber on foot struck outside the building of the Rural Rehabilitation and Development Ministry in the capital, Kabul, killing seven people and wounding 15.
The Daesh group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement Monday on its Aamaq news agency, saying it targeted government employees and warning their attacks will reach “all who help the Crusaders,” a term militants use to refer to foreign forces.
Last month, a suicide bombing near the same ministry killed 12 people and wounded 31 others, mostly government employees.
On Monday, a would-be suicide attacker was shot and killed by police in Kabul before he was able to get close to a gathering of supporters of the country’s first vice president, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, according to police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai. Dostum is currently in Turkey.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but both Taliban and the Daesh group have stepped up their attacks in Kabul.