World Briefs: Russia 'reaches deal with US' over Syria

Russia 'reaches deal with US' over Syria

MOSCOW • Russia said yesterday that it had reached an agreement with the United States on the need to improve coordination between their military operations in Syria, where they are backing opposing sides of a civil war and launching air strikes.

Moscow's intervention on the side of President Bashar al-Assad, alongside Western backing for rebel groups and attacks on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria targets, has raised the risk of a wider international confrontation in the war.

Russia's Defence Ministry said military officials from both countries agreed on the need to improve coordination during a video conference. There was no immediate confirmation from Washington.


Belgium's anti-terror raids: 3 men charged

BRUSSELS • Belgian prosecutors charged three men with terrorism offences on Saturday, following overnight raids that took place amid heightened security in Belgium and France due to the Euro 2016 football tournament.

Named by prosecutors as Samir C., Moustapha B. and Jawad B., they were among 12 people detained during the raids. The three men were also charged with "participation in the activities of a terrorist group", while the other nine people were released.


Mursi sentenced to life in prison

CAIRO • An Egyptian court has sentenced ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi to life in prison in an espionage trial, in which six of his co-defendants were handed death penalties.

Mursi, who was sentenced to death in a separate trial, was Egypt's first democratically elected president, but was overthrown by the army in 2013. He was given life in prison on Saturday for leading an unlawful organisation and 15 years for having "stolen secret documents concerning state security", his lawyer said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2016, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Subscribe