A mortar landed by the Russian Embassy in Damascus on Thursday, killing a Syrian civilian and injuring 9 security personnel working at the site, reports CNN.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced no Russians were hurt in the attack, and said it was investigating who was responsible. Meanwhile the US Department of State condemned the attack.
The mortar attack in the Syrian capital comes despite the Syrian army’s recapturing of the strategic town of Deir Attiyeh just north of Damascus on Thursday, just under a week after the army lost the town.
Deir Attiyeh is located on the Damascus-Homs highway. It is an important point for the ongoing army offensive in the region due to its closeness to Damascus, and is important to the rebels for the supply lines to Lebanon it grants access to, according to Al Jazeera.
The explosion comes after an attack on Iran’s embassy in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on November 19 killed 23, including the Iranian cultural attaché.
That attack was claimed by an Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group that supports the rebel forces in Syria. It was meant as a message to Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah to pull their forces out of Syria where they are supporting President Bashar Assad’s regime.
Russia has likewise been associated with Assad’s regime. The reported IAF strike on the Latakia region of Syria October 31 apparently targeted an advanced Russian missile system that could be updated to the highly touted S-300 missile system.
In fact, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Meir Rosenne said Russia, Syria and Iran through their alliance “defeated” America by forcing US President Barack Obama to back down from his planned intervention in Syria in September.
On Wednesday Assad’s government said it would attend the January 22 peace talks in Geneva aimed at ending the conflict now stretching into its third year. The war has left over 120,000 dead.