Syrian rebel group demands ransom for dead Russians: The dead crew of a Russian helicopter downed by Syrian rebels in Idlib Governorate on Monday is being held ransom.
The Syrian rebel group calling itself the General Foundation for Prisoners’ Affairs, which claims to have the remains of five crew members, is demanding Damascus release of prisoners held by the Syrian government. Their demands also include a call for Hezbollah to release prisoners and for Syria to lift blockades surrounding rebel-held areas.
Hezbollah is allied with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
The group reportedly displayed the identification of the five dead Russians.
U.S. weapons discovered in al-Nusra cache: Outposts once manned by al-Nusra terrorists re-taken by the Syrian army have revealed U.S.-made weapons in the militants’ arsenal.
Video provided by the Syrian troops in territory re-conquered by the Syrian army reveal Western and American manufactured mortars, anti-tank missiles and grenades.
American-made TOW anti-tank missiles, 81mm mortars and shells and UN0181 missiles were discovered by Syrian forces.
Islamic State murders two Egyptian police officers: A video capturing the execution of two Egyptian policemen by an ISIS terrorist was released on Thursday.
Although it is unknown where the execution took place, it is suspected the act occurred in the northern Sinai, a known ISIS stronghold.
Experts could not verify the video, but Egyptian military officials who viewed the 35-minute tape say it contained footage previously seen in ISIS videos.
Russia tells U.S. to step up attacks on Syrian rebels: In a statement released by the Kremlin describing a phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed the importance for the United States to intensify air attacks on Syrian groups which remain outside the Syrian truce agreement.
The phone conversation between the two follows Russian criticism of alleged American backing for groups which have used poison gas on civilians in fighting inside Aleppo.
Brazilian Olympic team skips drug testing: Brazil’s Sports Ministry admitted Friday its athletes were not drug tested in the period July 1-24 over a World Anti-Doping Agency restriction on a Rio de Janeiro lab which provided testing.
The Rio Olympics opened Friday evening amid terror threats, the impeachment process of suspended President Dilma Rousseff and a drug-related scandal which enveloped Olympic competitors from the Russian Federation.
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