A rebel shell kills 6 in Damascus shortly after Assad’s “victory” speech
The first international fair to take place in Damascus since the civil war’s outbreak six years ago was hit by a rebel shell Sunday night. Six people were killed and several injured. Thirty Iranian firms sent exhibits to the event along with other countries.
In his “victory speech, Bashar Assad said Western plots against his regime had been foiled and there would be no security cooperation with western nations until they cut ties with the Syrian opposition. Speaking to Syrian diplomats in Damascus, Assad praised Russia, Iran, China and Lebanon’s Hizballah for supporting his government during the conflict. Assad also welcomed the new de-escalation zones “to stop the bloodletting.” At the same time, rebel factions accuse his army and Iranian-backed militias of ceasefire violations in Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, and exploiting the limited truces to free up firepower for attacks in other parts of the country.