Russia says its planes are carrying military goods to Syria

Russia has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout the country's 4½-year civil war, providing weapons and military experts to train Syria's army to use them.

Lavrov on Thursday once again confirmed that Russia has military personnel in Syria for training purposes, but said nothing about reported deployments of additional troops.

NATO opens military center in Lithuania amid Ukraine crisis

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who joined Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite for the opening ceremony, described the new unit as a "big step forward toward greater solidarity, greater strength and greater readiness."

The NATO force integration unit in Vilnius is one of six small headquarters — manned by some 40 staff each — that opened this month in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Romania, as part of the alliance's biggest reinforcement of collective defense since the end of the Cold War.

NATO says 3 civilian contractors killed by Afghan car bomb; death toll now 12

The attack struck near the private Shinozada hospital in the capital's Macrorayan neighborhood, the sound of the powerful blast roaring throughout the capital.

The bombing killed at least nine Afghan civilians and one foreigner and wounded 60, said Wahidullah Mayar, a Health Ministry spokesman. U.S. Col. Brian Tribus, a NATO spokesman, said the three contractors had been killed, without elaborating.

Conflicting information is common after such attacks.

NATO: Death toll in Kabul military base attack reaches 9

A number of other NATO service members and foreign contracted civilians were wounded in the Friday night attack, NATO spokesman Col. Brian Tribus said. The Afghans killed were working for NATO's Resolute Support mission on Camp Integrity in Kabul.

NATO agrees on support package for Iraq

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the aid program, approved Friday by NATO member nations, is designed to help Iraq by providing support in areas where NATO "is best placed to add value."

Stoltenberg said the assistance program was developed at Iraq's request, and in close consultation with Iraqi authorities.

NATO proclaims 'strong solidarity' with Turkey against IS


"The security of the alliance is indivisible," ambassadors from all 28 NATO nations declared in a joint statement after the meeting, which had been called to assess the threat posed by the Islamic State extremist group and the Turkish response.

They condemned recent terror attacks in Turkey, and called terrorism "a global threat that knows no border, nationality, or religion — a challenge that the international community must fight and tackle together."