Rockets flying out of an Islamist neighborhood hit Russia’s embassy in Damascus, the capital of Syria. Russia has declared the attack “obvious terrorism.”
“This is an obvious act of terrorism, probably aimed at intimidating supporters of the fight against terrorism,” remarked Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Two rockets bombarded the embassy as 300 people gathered around the building to show support for Russian intervention in the civil war. Journalists at the event said the people were “waving Russian flags and holding large photographs of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
Russian agency Interfax reported the attack did not kill or injure anyone. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated the rockets came “from the eastern edges of the capital, where Islamist rebels are entrenched.”
“Together with the Syrian authorities, we are now trying to establish those responsible,” continued Lavrov.
Mortar rounds injured three people inside the building in an attack in April. A month later, mortar rounds near the building killed one person. A shell hit the embassy on September 21, which caused Russian officials to demand “concrete action.”
Russia began airstrikes in Syria on September 30, a day after Putin and President Barack Obama discussed the civil war at the UN General Assembly. Lavrov told the UN Security Council that Russia received a request from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to begin strikes.
“Our task is to stabilize the legitimate government and to create conditions for a political compromise, by military means, of course,” Putin said to defend his airstrikes. “The units of international terrorists and their ilk have no desire to negotiate with the Syrian government, who is almost sieged in its own capital.”
He also said the U.S. should have given the Russians $500 million instead of the Syrian rebels.
“It would have been better to give us $500 million,” Putin said. “At least we would have used it more effectively from the point of view of fighting international terrorism.”
The Pentagon ended a program to arm and train Syrian rebels after some defected to al-Qaeda and weapons ended up in their hands.
Putin insisted his airstrikes are legal and more effective than those by the U.S.-led coalition.
“We are not striving for any kind of leadership over Syria,” he claimed. “Syria can have only one leader — the Syrian people. We aim at making a contribution in the fight against terrorism, which is dangerous for the United States, for Russia and for the European countries, and for the whole world without exaggeration.”