Russia Launches New Airstrikes Against Syrian Rebels
Russia launched a new aerial bombardment on Syrian rebels, helping President Bashar al-Assad's government reclaim territory it had lost.
Moscow said it hit 63 targets, destroying 53 of them, with many of the attacks Sunday in Tal Skik, a highland area of Idlib province that had been controlled by rebels fighting Syrian forces.
As with recent sorties, Russia described the targets as belonging to Islamic State insurgents. But most of the positions have not been held by that group, but rather factions fighting the Assad government.
In an interview with Russian state television, President Vladimir Putin defended Moscow's intervention in Syria, saying the objective is to stabilize the Damascus government and open the path for a political compromise.
Iran's Parliament Gives Preliminary Approval for Nuclear Deal
Iran's parliament Sunday gave preliminary approval of a bill that allows the government to implement a historic nuclear deal reached with world powers.
Under the bill, the Iranian government will be authorized to withdraw from implementation of the deal if the other side fails to lift sanctions against Iran. Final approval of the measure is expected later this week.
The French news agency reported the discussions in parliament were punctuated by fiery debate and allegations from a top negotiator that a lawmaker had threatened to kill him.
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, went on the attack for the government at the end of boisterous clashes where he and other officials were accused of having capitulated.
Hardliners in Tehran often railed against two years of diplomacy that led to the deal. Iran's government says the accord will protect the country's nuclear program while seeing international economic sanctions lifted.
Meanwhile, Iran successfully test fired a new guided long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile - the first such test since Iran and world powers reach the nuclear agreement.