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Russian Embassy in Damascus shelled

In this March 4, 2013 photo, photos of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin are propped against a wall during a pro-Assad protest in front of the Russian Ebassy in Damascus. Syria’s state agency says a mortar round has landed in the Embassy compound on Sunday, but has not caused any casualties.   | Photo Credit: Muzaffar Salman

A mortar shell on Sunday landed in the grounds of the Russian Embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus, causing no casualties, Syrian state media reported.

Syria’s state news agency SANA quoted an embassy source as saying that the shell fell in the embassy compound and that work was continuing as normal.

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the attack, saying there were no immediate reports about casualties.

The Britain-based Observatory said the area in central Damascus where the embassy is located has repeatedly been attacked in the past. Sunday however was the first time the Russian Embassy was hit.

Russia, a major ally and arms supplier to Damascus, played a key role in a deal struck last week by Moscow and Washington on Syria’s chemical weapons.

Opposition forces, fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, have dismissed the U.S.-Russian accord and vowed to continue fighting.

The agreement gives Mr. Assad’s regime until mid-2014 to destroy its chemical weapons arsenal.

Syria has already handed over a disclosure of its chemical weapons programme to the international watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is to secure and destroy the arsenal under the U.S.-Russian accord.

Under the deal, OPCW inspectors will verify Syria’s information on location and support the country in securing the weapons and facilities until their destruction. An exact schedule is not yet known.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 4:12:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/russian-embassy-in-damascus-shelled/article5156824.ece

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