Assad praises Russia, Iran, China and Hezbollah for supporting government as shell kills several at international fair

The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has railed against the west, saying any security cooperation with western nations or the reopening of their embassies would not happen until they cut ties with opposition and insurgent groups.

Shortly after Assad gave his speech, a shell hit the first international fair in the country since the war began six years ago, killing and wounding several people.

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