Russia’s deputy defense minister Aleksandr Fomin accused a US airplane of manually controlling 13 drones that attempted to attack Russia’s Khmeimim air base in Syria. The surprising allegations were made at a plenary session of the Beijing Xiangshan Forum on Thursday. A Russian diplomatic source elaborated on the comments, alleging that some Syrian militants in Idlib are being used by the US to create instability in northern Syria.
France denied Israeli media reports that it warned the US it would promote its own peace plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if US President Donald Trump fails to publish his plan soon. French allegedly pressured Trump to release his plan within a number of weeks after the American midterm elections on November 6.
The Palestinian Authority called on China – in its capacity as a permanent member of the UN Security Council – to play an active role in the Middle East peace process, during a meeting in Ramallah on Tuesday between visiting Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and senior PLO and Fatah officials.
Iran reportedly delivered GPS components to Hezbollah in Lebanon that will allow the group to transform rudimentary projectiles into precision-guided missiles, thereby increasing the threat to Israel. Western intelligence services believe Tehran has shifted its strategy by increasingly shipping weaponry directly to its proxy in Beirut, with a view to evading Israeli air strikes.