Syria: Russia has sent a military advance team to Syria and is taking other steps the US fears may signal that President Vladimir Putin is planning to vastly expand his military support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia said it was providing “serious” training and logistical support to the Syrian army, the first confirmation of Russia’s involvement in Syria’s civil war. Meanwhile, anti-government violence spread over the weekend in a Syrian province that had largely stayed on the sidelines of the civil war, after the killing of a prominent cleric.
Afghanistan: At least 13 civilians were killed in a peaceful region in the country’s north last week as President Ashraf Ghani sought to assure international donors in Kabul that Afghanistan is making progress on promised reforms. The incident on Saturday took place as Ghani told the donors of the country’s reconstruction after almost 40 years of war. Ghani said his government has accelerated a crackdown on corruption, reformed customs to increase revenue collection and boosted capacity building.
Yemen: A Saudi-led coalition bombing rebels in war-torn Yemen suffered its deadliest setback so far last week when 45 troops from the UAE were killed while taking part in operations against the Houthis. UAE said the troops were killed when a missile struck an ammunition depot.
— Compiled by Sagar Shah