Syrian demonstrators gather in the rebel-held town of Saqba, on the eastern outskirts of the capital Damascus, during a demonstration in solidarity with the inhabitants of the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo on December 16, 2016.(AFP)
Syrian demonstrators gather in the rebel-held town of Saqba, on the eastern outskirts of the capital Damascus, during a demonstration in solidarity with the inhabitants of the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo on December 16, 2016.(AFP)

Mortar fire targets Russian embassy in Syria’s Damascus

Two mortar rounds were fired at the Russian embassy in Damascus on Wednesday, the foreign ministry in Moscow said, adding that no casualties or damage had been caused.
Moscow | By AFP
UPDATED ON DEC 29, 2016 01:33 AM IST

Two mortar rounds were fired at the Russian embassy in Damascus on Wednesday, the foreign ministry in Moscow said, adding that no casualties or damage had been caused.

“From 1 to 1:19 pm Moscow time (1000 GMT to 1019 GMT), the Russian embassy was bombarded by terrorists. One mortar, which luckily didn’t explode, landed in the courtyard inside the embassy premises,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The second mortar landed in the neighbourhood” near the embassy, the statement said, adding that deminers intervened to defuse the explosives.

“We consider this new act of provocation by extremists seeking to derail the peace process in Syria, to be a confirmation of their intention to continue to sow terror and violence” in the war-torn nation, the ministry added.

The Russian embassy in central Damascus has been the frequent target of rebel fire ever since war erupted in 2011.

In May 2015, a man was killed when mortar rounds landed near the embassy complex.

Moscow has been a key ally of President Bashar al-Assad since the outbreak of the war.

Then in September 2015, Russia launched a military campaign in support of the regime.

With Moscow’s backing, Assad’s troops scored their biggest victory in the civil war earlier this month when they recaptured rebel areas of eastern Aleppo.

Read | Aleppo’s fall will change US and Russian roles in Syria

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