Assad palace comes under mortar attack

Feb. 19, 2013 at 10:00 PM

DAMASCUS, Syria, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- One of Syrian President Bashar Assad's palaces in Damascus came under mortar attack by rebels Tuesday, state-run media said.

Voice of America said the Syrian Arab News Agency reported the assault on the Tishreen palace caused no casualties. The acknowledgement of the attack, which the Free Syrian Army claimed it conducted, reveals inroads the rebels have made into Damascus, VOA said.

The attack in the capital came the day after an apparent missile attack in Aleppo killed at least 31 people, VOA said. The death toll included 14 children and five women.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in London said witnesses reported hearing no planes overhead during the attack, suggesting a surface-to-surface missile was used.

The Los Angeles Times reported rebel leaders blamed the attack on government forces, while the Syrian government had no comment.

VOA said there news reports out of Russia that Moscow had sent two transport planes and four navy vessels to Syrian coastal waters to evacuate its nationals who want to leave Syria.

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