The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

Russian airstrikes cut water supply to Raqqa:  Following an intensive aerial bombardment against the de-facto capital of the Islamic State (ISIS), Raqqa, an anti-ISIS group known as Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, revealed the water supply to the city of over 250,000 has been cut.

Russia claimed its air attacks were targeting weapon stores, a chemical factory and ISIS training facilities.

Rights groups’ reports conflict, but say the Russian bombing missions killed over 20 civilians and injured 50.

With Aleppo near free from rebel control and Manbij under control of U.S.-backed Syrian opposition groups, Raqqa remains among the final strongholds of the Islamic State in Syria.

Philippines seeks direct talks with Beijing:  Following a meeting with Chinese deputy foreign minister Fu Ying, Philippine special envoy Fidel Ramos says his country wants direct talks with Beijing over the disputed Spratly Islands.

The source of much controversy, China recently ignited tensions over its claim it has historic territorial rights over the chain, although an international court in The Hague shot down their petition in July.

Taiwan, Viet-Nam, China, Malaysia, Brunei, Japan and the Philippines all claim some rights over the islands.

Manbij falls to Syrian opposition forces:  After being seized by Islamic State terrorists in 2014, the Syrian town of Manbij was officially re-taken by U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces forces on August 12.

After overcoming the last remnants of ISIS fighters, many of whom were using civilians as human shields, residents celebrated by smoking cigarettes, removing black burqas and men cutting beards.

Viewed as a significant victory over the terror group, the fall of Manbij is considerable because the city served as a center point for the flow of weapons and recruits into Syria from Turkey for ISIS.

Russia installs missile defense system in Crimea:  Although the placement of S-400 missiles in Crimea was announced in June, the Russian Ministry of Defense has said it will send the mobile missile defense system to Crimea immediately.

The move comes in the wake of Moscow’s allegation Ukrainian antagonists were disrupted in the attempt to sabotage Russian facilities in Crimea.

Moscow recently announced its intent to conduct military exercises in Crimea in the coming weeks, to which Kiev responded with a heightened military alert and massing troops and armored vehicles on the Crimean frontier.

North Korea hosts beer festival:  In a bizarre development inside the hermit kingdom, North Korea has hosted its first beer festival.

After two hours of revelry among Pyongyang’s elite, ordinary citizens were invited to the celebration and served Taedonggang Beer, a brew found only in North Korea.


[Reuters] [BBC] [Telegraph]