Deadly rocket fire hits near Damascus trade fair

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday praised his allies, including Russia, Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah, for helping fight terrorists and Western nations' attempts to topple him.

"There will be neither security cooperation, nor the opening of embassies, nor a role for certain states that say they want to find a way out (of Syria's war), unless they explicitly cut their ties with terrorism", he added. "Therefore, they are our partners in these achievements on the road to crush terrorism", Assad said.

The Syrian government has opened the country's first worldwide trade fair since war broke out in 2011, an event hailed by officials as a "victory" and a sign of renewed confidence in the war-torn nation after years of war. "We will continue to attack terrorists until the last terrorist on Syrian land", Assad said.

The breaking news alert gave no details on the number of injured or the source of the rocket fire, and there was no immediate mention of the incident on state news agency SANA.

The Mortar News in Damascus Facebook page that tracks violence in the capital reports that the shell hit the entrance of the Damascus International Fair killing four and wounding four others.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said about a dozen people had been injured in addition to the five dead.

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Fighters in the area have regularly fired rockets into the capital, and government warplanes have frequently carried out devastating raids across Eastern Ghouta.

The France has from the beginning been one of the supports, the strongest of the syrian opposition and has always called for the departure of Mr. Assad, considered the main responsible for the conflict. He made more than 330 000 people dead and millions displaced.

The United States and European countries, which maintain economic sanctions on the Assad regime, were not officially invited, although a handful of Western companies are attending on an individual basis.

Several Arab and Western countries also withdrew their diplomats from Damascus.

"These facts are what forced them (the West) to change their stance", he said.

He welcomed recent deals to de-escalate violence in Syria, but vowed not to give the opposition in politics what it failed to gain through arms.


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