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No relations with Syria for countries backing rebels - Assad

No relations with Syria for countries backing rebels - Assad

Assad, whose government brands numerous Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel groups that Moscow has reached truces with as "terrorists", has said his army retained the right to continue to attack insurgents.

At least six people were killed on Sunday when a mortar bomb hit the entrance to a major trade fair being held in the Syrian capital, a war monitor said.

Several people have reportedly been injured by rocket fire that targeted the entrance to the Damascus International Fair venue, where a high-profile business gathering is now underway.

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 Fair, the most important event in economic of Syria before the war and one of the oldest in the arab world, has reopened its doors Thursday.

"We were preparing to receive visitors when I heard an explosion. then I saw smoke so the side of the of the entrance to the exhibition hall", said Iyad Jaber, 39, a Syrian working at a textile stand.

Damascus has largely been insulated from the worst violence in the country's brutal civil war, but key opposition enclaves remain in Eastern Ghouta outside the city.

The trade fair dates back to 1954 but was last held in the summer of 2011, months after the eruption of protests against President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Syria's war has left more than 330,000 people dead and has displaced millions more.

Global organisations estimate that reconstructing Syria, devastated by a six-year war that has left killed more than 320,000 people, will cost upwards of $300 billion (275 billion euros).

The fair is hosting firms from 23 countries that have maintained diplomatic relations with Damascus throughout the conflict.

"Let's be clear. There will be no security co-operation nor opening of embassies or even a role for some countries that say that they want to play a role in ending the crisis in Syria before they clearly and frankly cut their relations with terrorism".

He also said Syria welcomes Russian-brokered, regional ceasefire deals, and hopes they are extended in other places in Syria.

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