US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the Trump administration is pulling the plug on the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, claiming that Moscow “shamelessly” violated the 1987 agreement. Russia says the US invented that fiction so it could have an excuse to clear the way to develop new missiles.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying about attempting to influence a vote at the UN – and also lied about working as a lobbyist for Turkey. Prosecutors from Robert Mueller’s office asked the judge to give Flynn little or no jail time because he cooperated in building a case against Flynn’s former business associates.
Syria: A Russian military plane was shot down accidentally by Syrian anti-aircraft fire, killing all 15 on board. Initially, Moscow blamed Israel, because Israeli jets were flying in the same area as the passenger route and, thereby, attracted Syrian anti-aircraft fire into the path of the passenger plane.
Russia says terrorists plan to stage a chlorine attack, with the assistance of UK special services, to create a pretext for the US and the West to strike Syria. The Russian spokesman identified Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, which is a rebranding of al-Qaeda, as the group planning to stage the attack and put the blame in on Assad’s forces.
No evidence confirming Russia’s involvement has yet been released. The first wave of sanctions will ban licenses for export to Russia of sensitive national security goods. The second set downgrades diplomatic relations, suspends Aeroflot’s ability to fly to the US, and nearly all exports and imports will be cut.