Syria’s military began withdrawing from a major artery to Aleppo late Thursday as the U.N. envoy accused President Bashar Assad’s government of obstructing aid access to the contested city.

With the U.S.-Russian-brokered cease-fire holding for a third day, Russia was expected to deploy its forces along Aleppo’s Castello Road to ensure safe passage for humanitarian convoys to the city’s opposition-held quarters.

It would be the most overt participation by Russian ground forces in the Syrian war to date, underscoring Moscow’s position as power broker in the conflict.


A wing flap that washed ashore on an island off Tanzania has been identified as belonging to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Australian officials said Thursday.

The flap was found in June by residents on Pemba Island off the coast of Tanzania, and officials had previously said it was highly likely to have come from the missing Boeing 777. An analysis by experts at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is heading up the search for the plane, subsequently confirmed the part was indeed from the aircraft, the agency said in a statement.


Separatist rebels and government troops both reported violations of a cease-fire declared in eastern Ukraine at midnight on Wednesday as French and German foreign ministers were visiting the country in a bid to shore up a crumbling peace agreement.

Rebels on Tuesday declared a unilateral cease-fire, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the following day Ukraine had also agreed to observe the truce.

Compiled from wire reports