Aleppo ceasefire unravels: Russia’s autonomous ceasefire announced Monday for the delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged Aleppo beginning on Wednesday has collapsed.
Following the disintegration of an American-Russian brokered ceasefire in September, Syrian troops launched a ground offensive against opposition groups in control of eastern quarters of the city.
Originally designed to open humanitarian corridors to deliver aid and evacuate civilians, Russia blamed rebel groups for refusing to observe the pause. Russia declared to armistice over, citing a resumption of fighting on Saturday and renewed its bombing campaign.
Iran jails two Americans: Accused of cooperating with the United States, an Iranian court has sentenced two Iranian-American men, Siamak Namazi, and his father, Baquer Namazi, to 10 years imprisonment.
The father and son were arrested while visiting family in Iran in 2015.
Iranian state media, Fars described the charges against the two as “espionage” and “cooperating” with the U.S., but did not reveal when the men were sentenced.
80 year-old Baquer Namazi once served as a United Nations Children’s Fund representative in northern Africa.
ISIS massacres 284 civilians: Fearful of being overrun by a new Iraqi offensive aiming at driving ISIS from Mosul, ISIS militants have reportedly seized and executed 284 citizens in Mosul, Iraq.
It is widely believed the victims were all both adult and underage males.
Iraqi intelligence officials told CNN the dead were initially used as human shields, were then executed and their bodies dumped into mass graves.
Iraqi forces launch offensive against Mosul: Under the ISIS heel since June 2014, Iraqi forces supported by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters launched Operation We Are Coming, Nineveh on Monday, intending to drive ISIS from what was once Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul.
Mosul is considered the last major bastion of ISIS influence in Iraq.
The offensive is aided by an American-led coalition of air forces, which include the United Kingdom. Against an estimated 4,000–8,000 ISIS militants, Iraqi government forces number over 30,000 and are backed by 4,000 Kurdish fighters, which have assaulted Mosul from the east.
China sends pair into outer space: For the first time since 2013, the People’s Republic of China has delivered a manned mission into outer space. Launched from Beijing’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Chinese-dominated Inner Mongolia, the mission is said to signal Chinese ambitions to land on the Moon or Mars.
Intending to dock with the Chinese space lab, Tiangong 2, the pair of Chinese astronauts, Jing Haipeng, and Chen Dong, are expected to remain in space for 30 days.
China first sent a manned mission into outer space in 2003.
[Reuters] [BBC] [RT News]