US So-Called Counter-Terrorism Campaign Formed ISIL, al-Qaeda, Zarif Says

TEHRAN – Referring to the costs and casualties of the US so-called counter-terrorism campaign, Iranian foreign minister called the conflict a major factor in the formation of ISIL and al-Qaeda branches in the region, according to Mehr News Agency.

Saudi Mercenaries Launch New Offensive to Capture Yemen’s Hudaydah

Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi have launched a “vast offensive” to take full control of the country’s strategic western city of Hudaydah as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its atrocious bombardment campaign against its southern neighbor.

Hadi loyalists said in a statement on Friday that they had begun a military operation, claiming that they had advanced towards the northern and the western flanks of the port city, located 150 kilometers southwest of the capital Sana'a.

The statement further alleged that pro-Hadi forces were progressing from all fronts with the support of the Saudi-led military coalition.

Saudi -Led Attacks on Yemen Increased after US Demand for Ceasefire: Houthi

The leader of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement says the extent of Saudi-led military aggression on his country has intensified ever since US President Donald Trump’s administration demanded a ceasefire and the launch of UN-led political talks to end the ongoing war there, according to Press TV.

Addressing his supporters via a televised speech broadcast live from the Yemeni capital city of Sana’a on Wednesday evening, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said his movement had noticed preparations for greater attacks, and that the ongoing aggression on Yemen is being primarily planned, monitored and supported by the United States.

Russia Stresses Illegal Nature of US Sanctions on Iran

MOSCOW-  Russian President Vladimir Putin and permanent members of the national Security Council have discussed the renewal of US sanctions on Iran and preparations for a Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Itar Tass.

"The meeting’s participants exchanged views on the situation in the wake of the United States’ move to introduce sanctions against Iran," he said. "They emphasized the illegal nature of such actions," Peskov added.

"CSTO issues were also touched upon as part of preparations for the president’s visit to Astana, set to take place later in the week," the Russian presidential spokesman noted.

Over 200 Mass Graves Discovered in Iraq - Report

GENEVA- Over 200 mass graves containing the remains of thousands of people have been discovered in Iraq on territories previously controlled by Daesh, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a report released on Tuesday.

"The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the UN Human Rights Office have documented the existence of 202 mass grave sites in the governorates of Ninewa, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din and Anbar in the northern and western parts of the country – but there may be many more. While it is difficult to determine the total number of people in these graves, the smallest site, in west Mosul, contained eight bodies while the biggest is believed to be the Khasfa sinkhole south of Mosul which may contain thousands," the report read, according to Sputnik.