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August 12, 2015 9:39 am

Syrian Rebel Shelling, Government Airstrikes Kill 36 Ahead of Iranian Foreign Minister’s Visit

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif  was scheduled to arrive in Damascus later in the afternoon. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was scheduled to arrive in Damascus on Wednesday. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Heavy rebel shelling and government airstrikes around Syria’s capital on Wednesday killed at least 36 people and wounded scores more in a surge in violence just hours before the arrival of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, activists and state media said.

Zarif was scheduled to arrive in Damascus later in the afternoon, likely to discuss a four-point peace plan proposal Iran wants to offer to the United Nations to end Syria’s grinding civil war. That plan reportedly includes a cease-fire and a “national unity government” but likely won’t bring about a truce in a conflict that has killed more than 250,000 people since March 2011.

Read full story at U.S. News.

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