PLANE FACTS. Fifteen months after Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed over eastern Ukraine, a team of Dutch investigators have delivered their verdict on what happened — and it isn’t going to solve much of anything, according to The Washington Post. The report found that the plane was shot down by a Russian-made Buk missile, but did not say who fired it, what generation of missile was fired, or any identifying information that would force all sides to conclusively agree on who is to blame for the deadly event that cemented worsening tensions between Russia and the West, and led to the stiffening of sanctions against Russia for its involvement in and support of the separatist rebels fighting the Ukrainian government in the east.
RUSSIA GALVANIZING SYRIAN REBELS? Rebel groups that couldn’t seem to get their act together before are gearing up and even cooperating in the face of attacks by the Russian-backed Syrian army, Reuters reports. The only thing is, a lot of the reinforcements appear to be coming from jihadist groups. The new rush of activity comes as the United States decided last week to shelve a train-and-equip program to ready Syrian rebels for the fight against the Islamic State that had been sorely underperforming; nonetheless, the United States has reportedly continued to drop ammunition to rebels.