NATO has observed columns of Russian equipment, primarily Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems, and Russian combat troops entering Ukraine over the last 48 hours. The US considers that with this move Russia “keeps fuelling war” in Ukraine. Moscow answered that all that is a “propaganda concoction”.

Widespread attacks and sieges on civilian areas in Syria by pro-Government forces are leading to mass casualties, malnutrition and starvation, according to the latest report of the independent international Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. The report says that both pro-Government and non-State armed groups have committed massacres, and the Commission considers that the UN Security Council has failed to take action to end impunity.

Satellite imagery, witness statements, and video and photographic evidence show that Syrian authorities deliberately and unlawfully demolished thousands of residential buildings in Damascus and Hama in 2012 and 2013, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

Jordan was elected to serve on the UN Security Council for two-years beginning on 1 January 2014 and fill the seat that Saudi Arabia won and rejected earlier in November.

Iran and six world powers reached a deal on Tehran’s Uranium enrichment program. Obama praised the agreement as a first step that “achieves a great deal” in a peaceful way through diplomacy. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considers the deal “a historic mistake” that endangers his country.

The United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told the UN Security Council that around 9.3 million people in Syria or about 40% of the population need humanitarian aid. That means 2 million more people in need than in September.

The UN Security Council has voted unanimously a resolution to secure and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. If Syria doesn’t comply would bring about “sanctions or stronger coercive action”.