Russia Syria
A man helps a woman making her way through the rubble of a damaged building after what activists said were airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force in Idlib city, Syria December 20, 2015.Reuters

Russian airstrikes could constitute war crimes: Russian jets bombing targets in Syria since 30 September have hit homes, mosques and even medical facilities, killing at least 200 civilians in the last two months, Amnesty International said in its report on Wednesday. 

The human rights agency accused Russia of using cluster munitions that drop several bombs over a large area which remain unexploded for several days, thus posing a grave threat to civilians.

"Some Russian air strikes appear to have directly attacked civilians or civilian objects by striking residential areas with no evident military target and even medical facilities, resulting in deaths and injuries to civilians. Such attacks may amount to war crimes," Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International, said in the report

Citing eyewitnesses, the organisation said that some Russian airstrikes had hit hospitals, thus possibly constituting a war crime. 

Taliban helmand
An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers drive at an outpost in Helmand province, December 20, 2015. The Taliban is closing in on key districts in the province.Reuters

Afghan army gets reinforcements in battle against Taliban: Military planes are dropping food supplies for Afghan troops fighting the Taliban to ensure the Sangin district in Helmand does not fall to the group, BBC reported. 

There have been conflicting reports on how much of the Sangin district and other areas in Helmand the Taliban has seized. 

Helmand deputy governor Mohammad Jan Rasoulyar who had made a plea on Facebook for the Afghanistan government to take action against advancing Taliban forces told BBC that the Afghan army was 'taking the fight to the Taliban'. 

On Monday, Britain confirmed that it had sent 10 military advisers to Camp Shorabak near Sangin to help the local troops. 

Iraqi security forces cross a bridge built by corps of engineers over the Euphrates in Ramadi, December 22, 2015. Picture taken December 22, 2015.Reuters

Iraq's fight for Ramadi continues: As the fight to retake the Iraqi city of Ramadi from the Islamic State militants entered the second day on Wednesday after troops stormed into the centre of the city on Tuesday, Iraqi officials have reportedly said that it is a matter of days before the city is cleared of militants. 

"In the coming days will be announced the good news of the complete liberation of Ramadi," Iraqia TV quoted army chief of staff Lt. General Othman al-Ghanemi as saying, according to Reuters.

Some Iraqi officials are positive that Ramadi will be retaken by the weekend, BBC reported. 

Ramadi had fallen to Isis in May this year. About 300 Isis fighters are estimated to be in the city at present. 

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