Here is a round-up of global news developments:
- The Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has hailed the IRGC for arresting US Marines who trespassed into Iranian waters earlier this month. Ayatollah Khamenei praised the move as a courageous act performed out of faith. The sailors were captured after mistakenly entering Iran's territorial waters.
- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the removal of sanctions on Tehran has paved the way for strengthening of bilateral relations between Iran and Thailand. In a meeting with Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramud-winai, Rouhani said Tehran is interested in expanding ties with Bangkok in all areas including culture and tourism.
- Iran’s parliament speaker has described extremism, terrorism and sectarianism as huge threats to global peace and stability. Ali Larijani noted that these phenomena are the results of interventionist approaches of some countries. Larijani was speaking at a session of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Baghdad.
- The Syrian government will not make any new concessions in the upcoming UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva. That’s according to senior member of Syria’s ruling party Hilal al-Hilal. The talks are slated for Monday but will most probably be delayed. The last round of talks was held in Vienna in October.
- Media reports say at least three Saudi troops have been killed by sniper fire from Yemeni forces in the Kingdom’s Jizan region. A Saudi military base in Jizan has also been targeted by the Yemeni troops. A number of Saudi forces also died in that attack.
- Palestinians have held a funeral for a teenage girl killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank. 13-year-old Roqaya Abu-Eid was laid to rest in the village of Yatta, south of al-Khalil. Israeli forces say they shot and killed Abu-Eid after she tried to stab an Israeli guard on Saturday.
- Tens of thousands of opposition demonstrators have taken to the streets in Moldova's capital Kishinow. The protesters demanded Prime Minister Pavel Filip’s removal. They also called for early elections and expressed their anger at what they described as rampant corruption among the ruling elite.
- A huge snowstorm smothering the US East Coast seems to be tapering off. The deadly blizzard dubbed Snowzilla has left at least 19 people dead. The storm has also affected some 85 million people across 20 states, prompting officials to declare state of emergency in eleven of them.