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Former ambassador: US 'pushed' Blair into Iraq War

Sir Jeremy Greenstock, former UK ambassador to the UN. Credit: PA

The former UK ambassador to the UN in 2003 has said that he believed Tony Blair felt "pushed" into going to war by the Americans.

I felt that at the time, the British felt it at the time, I think the prime minister felt it at the time, that the Americans pushed us into going into military action too early.

– Sir Jeremy Greenstock, UK ambassador to the UN in 2003

Speaking to the BBC Sir Jeremy added that the former prime minister had wanted a UN resolution backing military intervention in Iraq, but that senior US officials thought it was a "waste of time".

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UN makes first Syrian aid air drop

The UN has confirmed it has successfully carried out its first Syrian aid air drop into the besieged city of Deir Ezzor.

Previously the UN has been reliant on driving aid in Credit: REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

Relief chief Stephen O'Brien told the Security Council on Wednesday that a plane carrying 21 tonnes of humanitarian items had dispatched its cargo as planned as the organisation begins to use air drops as a way to effectively deliver humanitarian aid.

He said: "A WFP plane dropped the first cargo of 21 tonnes of items into Deir Ezzor.We have received initial reports from the SARC team on the ground that pallets have landed in the target area as planned."

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Russia 'can easily' work with all sides over Syria crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin Credit: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow can easily work with all sides involved in efforts to resolve the conflict Syria, including the United States and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russian news agencies have reported.

"Regarding the Syrian crisis, we find it easy to work both with President Assad and the American side. I have recently spoken about this with (US.) President (Barack) Obama, and with our friends from Saudi Arabia, and from other Arab nations", Mr Putin is quoted.

The comments are reported to have been from a new documentary which will be broadcast on Russian television on Sunday.

Philip Hammond welcomes UN Security Council Syria resolution

Philip Hammond welcomed the UN Security Council resolution Credit: PA

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has welcomed the the UN Security Council resolution on a Syria peace plan, calling it a "great step forward".

Syria has for too long been the world’s biggest humanitarian and security crisis.

The international community has now come together to work to end the bloody civil war in Syria and has paved the way for talks amongst the Syrian parties that will see a transition away from the murderous regime of Assad.

This resolution gives us a timetable and a clear way forward. Of course there are many challenges ahead but the world has taken a great step forward to resolving the Syrian crisis.

– Philip Hammond, foreign secretary
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