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Palestine deserves full membership and recognition as a state at the United Nations, Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, launching a searing attack on Israeli policy. Abbas delivered his address ahead of a ceremony to raise the Palestinian flag at the world body for the first time, alongside those of the UN's 193 member states. "Palestine, which is an observer state in the United Nations, deserves full recognition and full membership," he said.
An alleged Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militant accused of ordering the destruction of treasured monuments in Mali's fabled city of Timbuktu faced the International Criminal Court for the first time on Wednesday. The case is the first to be brought by the world's only permanent war crimes court over the extremist violence that rocked Mali in 2012 and 2013. It is also the first time that a jihadist has appeared before the court in The Hague and the first ICC case featuring the destruction of religious buildings and historical monuments.
Russia's air strikes in Syria on Wednesday targeted opposition forces and not Islamic State jihadists, a US defense official said, contradicting Russian claims. "We have not seen any strikes against ISIL, what we have seen is strikes against Syrian opposition," the official said, referring to the Islamic State group. The Russian defense ministry had earlier in the day said its strikes targeted IS militants.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia followed its launch of airstrikes in Syria with a call on Wednesday for the world to unite in the fight against terrorist groups, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told foreign ministers of world powers that his country was circulating a draft U.N. Security Council resolution to help make it happen.