Here is a round-up of global news developments:
- The Syrian president says fighting terrorism is a priority for Damascus and can bring stability back to the country. Bashar al-Assad also stressed that Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been trying to intervene in his country militarily for two years, adding that those two take orders from other countries.
- Syrian government forces backed by Russian airstrikes have liberated two strategic areas in the east and north of provincial capital Aleppo. Elsewhere in the north of Latakia province and the east of Homs, Syrian troops dealt heavy blows to the terrorists and seized a large amount of explosive material.
- Kurdish fighters have managed to fully liberate the town of Tal Rif'at in northern Syria. The town is located between Aleppo city and the city of A'zaz near the border with Turkey. Ankara says it will not allow A'zaz to fall into the hands of Kurdish fighters.
- The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned deadly strikes on schools and hospitals in Syria as a blatant violation of international law. The UN chief’s remarks come after missile attacks on several hospitals and schools in Aleppo and Idlib claimed dozens of lives.
- In Bahrain, police have arrested four US journalists, including a woman, covering the anniversary of the 2011 revolution. Police claimed the journalists provided false information and also attacked an officer. International organizations have repeatedly accused Bahrain of rights violations and slammed Manama’s crackdown on dissent.
- Palestinian hunger-striking journalist, Mohamad al-Qiq, has rejected an Israeli Supreme Court’s proposal to transfer him to al-Maqased hospital in Jerusalem al-Quds. Qiq has been in an Israeli jail with no charge or trial since November 2015. Israeli officials are defying calls by rights groups for his release.
- The United Nations announces a new investigation into alleged sexual abuse and exploitation, including against minors, by its peacekeepers in the Central African Republic. Thousands of peacekeepers, mainly from the UN, have been deployed to help the Central African Republic restore peace.
- At least one person is killed as Ugandan police clash with supporters of opposition leader Kizza Besije, briefly arresting him during a rally in the capital, Kampala. A government spokesman said all campaigns were prohibited in Kampala's central business district, where supporters of Besije were heading.