Russia demanded action Monday after a shell landed in its embassy compound in Damascus, as President Vladimir Putin tried to reassure Israel over an apparent military buildup in Syria that U.S. officials now say includes combat aircraft.
Moscow said a mortar round fell on the embassy compound in the Syrian capital on Sunday without causing damage and blamed forces battling President Bashar Assad and their “outside sponsors” for the shelling.
“We await a clear standpoint on this terrorist act from all members of the international community, including regional actors,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“What is needed is not just words, but concrete action.”
The Russian Embassy, in Damascus’ Mazraa neighbourhood, has been hit before. In May, one person was killed by mortar rounds that landed nearby. Three were hurt when mortar rounds landed inside the compound in April.
The United States says Russia — one of the few remaining allies of Assad — is deploying personnel and military hardware to Syria, sparking fears Moscow is getting ready to fight alongside government forces.
On Monday, two U.S. officials told AFP that Russia has deployed 28 ground attack and fighter planes at an airfield in the western Syrian province of Latakia.
One of the officials added there were also about 20 Russian combat and transport helicopters at the base. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, according to Japan Times.
According to Breitbart ,the Latest on developments in Syria after the collapse of a U.S. and Russia-brokered cease-fire two weeks ago, mainly in the rebel-held east (all times local):
The Russian foreign ministry says its embassy compound in the Syrian capital of Damascus has come under shelling from rebel groups.
The ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the embassy was shelled on Monday, with one mortar landing and exploding near the residential compound and two more by the embassy building.
The ministry said no one was harmed and blamed the attack on two rebel groups, including al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria which was formerly known as the Nusra Front.
The situation in Syria has deteriorated considerably since the collapse of a U.S.-Russia-brokered cease-fire two weeks ago.
The ministry said the attack is the result of a U.S. policy and its allies which “provokes further bloodshed in Syria.”
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is calling on the U.S. and Russia to resume talks on a cease-fire in Syria after Washington suspended diplomatic contacts with Moscow over ending the war.
Ban told reporters in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday that he is set to hold talks soon with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and senior Russian officials in Brussels.
He says: “I will strongly urge (them) to resume their negotiations so that there will be a cessation of hostilities.”
Ban says a ceasefire is vital to supply aid to the besieged city of Aleppo and give space for political talks to start.
Syrian state media are saying that rebel shelling of government-held neighborhoods of the northern city of Aleppo has killed six people and wounded 47.
State TV says some of the shells hit the dorms area at the Aleppo University on Tuesday, killing two students and wounding eight. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group that tracks the civil war, says two people were killed in the shelling.
Aleppo has been the focus of the fighting in recent months as governed forces have besieged all eastern, rebel-held neighborhoods of the city. Syria’s largest.
The Observatory says 420 people have been killed and more than a thousand have been wounded in and around Aleppo since a cease-fire brokered by Russia and the U.S. collapsed two weeks ago. Most of the dead have been in rebel-held parts of the city, which has been pounded by Syrian and Russian warplanes.
The U.N. human rights chief is decrying an unfolding “calamity” in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo where government forces continue to strike besieged, rebel-held parts in the east.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein in an appeal on Tuesday called for initiatives such as preventing U.N. Security Council’s permanent members from vetoing council resolutions to help prevent severe crimes.
He says the Security Council should adopt rules to limit veto use in cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. Russia, an ally of Syria’s government, holds veto power along with the United States, France, Britain and China.
Zeid says that attacks over the last 10 days in rebel parts of Aleppo, including airstrikes by Syrian and Russian forces, have been “the most intense” there since Syria’s civil war began in 2011.
Syrian rebels say pro-government forces are pressing their assault on the eastern, rebel-held neighborhoods of Aleppo, this time attacking the city from the south in a bid to penetrate opposition-controlled areas.
The Islamic Front rebel coalition said on Twitter on Tuesday that its factions repelled an advance on the Sheikh Saeed neighborhood.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the government offensive is accompanied by airstrikes on the contested neighborhoods.
The monitoring group says more than 400 civilians have been killed in and around Aleppo since the collapse of a U.S. and Russian-brokered cease-fire two weeks ago, mainly in the rebel-held east of the embattled city.
In the offensive, health facilities and hospitals have repeatedly come under attack.