Russian embassy in Syria attacked

The Russian Embassy in Syria came under fire earlier this week during a pro-government rally in the nation’s capital. No one was killed during the attack, although it has been reported that a few people were injured.

While the perpetrators remain unspecified, officials are calling it an act of terrorism. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov went on record saying,

”This is […] most likely intended to intimidate supporters of the fight against terror and prevent them from prevailing in the struggle against extremists.”

He continued, “Together with the Syrian authorities, we are now trying to establish those responsible.”

The shelling of the compound comes at a time when Russia has increased its presence in the region. Vladimir Putin has backed Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad throughout the civil war, supposedly as a means to the larger end of eradicating religious extremism in the Middle East.

However, critics are increasingly wary of Russia’s influence in the already war-torn country. The growing entanglement of affairs has caused worry amongst international leaders.

“The recent Russian military attacks … are of deep concern and must cease immediately,” said a spokesperson on behalf of the European Union. “The military escalation risks prolonging the conflict, undermining a political process, aggravating the humanitarian situation and increasing radicalization.”

According to the Associated Press, more than 250,000 people have been killed and half of Syria’s population has been displaced since the war began.

[BBC] [New York Magazine] [Yahoo] [Photo courtesy SANA via AP and Yahoo News]