Syria says shells hit Russian embassy compound
BEIRUT (AP) — Shells hit the Syrian capital of Damascus Sunday wounding seven while two of the projectiles hit the Russian embassy and a nearby area causing material damage, state media said.
State news agency SANA said two shells were fired at the Russian embassy, one hitting the compound while the other fell nearby. SANA said the shelling of other parts of the city wounded seven people.
Syrian rebels in the suburbs of the capital have previously struck the Russian embassy. The shelling came as government forces have been pounding rebel-held areas near Damascus for days.
Moscow is a strong supporter of President Bashar Assad and has been involved in Syria’s civil war since September 2015.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the civil war, now in its seventh year, has killed some 475,000 people including 99,617 civilians in addition to tens of thousands of troops, opposition fighters and extremists, as well as pro-government gunmen. The group, which tracks the civil war through a network of on-the-ground activists, says it has documented 331,765 deaths by name while the rest have not been identified.
The attack in Damascus came hours after a bomb exploded near a hospital in the rebel-held northwestern city of Idlib, wounding five people.
The Syrian Civil Defense group, more popularly known as the White Helmets, said the wounded included two children. The Observatory said five were wounded including children.
Elsewhere in Syria, SANA reported two mines planted by members of the Islamic State group killed three people riding two motorcycles near the central village of Um Harteen. It added that another blast hit a bus in the southern province of Sweida, wounding seven people.
Explosions have killed thousands of people in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests before turning into a full-blown civil war.