Air strikes for Syrian Bashar al Assad government killed at least 31 civilians in opposition-controlled neighbourhoods near Damascus and that opposition fighters fired artillery at the capital causing at least 13 deaths, according to reports by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Assad warplanes targeted several opposition-held districts of Eastern Ghouta near the capital’s outskirts, killing at least 31 with expected rise in the death toll due to more than 120 wounded and facing critical situation, the UK-based observatory reported.
The aftermath of the strikes, viewed by videos released on to Youtube, showed emergency volunteers and local residents pulling charred bodies from buildings reduced to rubble in Douma, northeast of the capital.
The explosions, which happened early on Wednesday morning when employees are expected to be heading to work, caused heay damage to a military intelligence building.
In addition, more than 50 artilleries were fired by the opposition forces hitting central Damascus and wounding 60 people, the observatory said. Death toll accumulated to five, according to Syrian state tv.
Amidst the attacks, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accompanied by a delegation arrived to Damascus late on Wednesday and were welcomed at the airport by Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Meqdad and senior officials of the Syrian government.
Zarif was expected to discuss a new plan to find a solid solution for Syria’s ongoing conflict, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman stated.
Iran has been a crucial ally to the Assad regime since an ongoing war pitted regime troops against opposition forces in Syria
So far, the conflict has resulted in the death of more than 220,000 people and displaced almost half of the country's population, according to UN estimates.
More than 6.7 million people have fled Syria, while millions of others have been displaced internally.
Turkey, which hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, provides refuge for an estimated 1.8 million Syrian refugees, more than any of Syria’s other neighbours.