Russia's Foreign Ministry partially blamed the United States on Tuesday for a recent mortar attack on the Russian embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus.

"We are considering the shelling of the Russian embassy in Damascus to be a consequence of actions by those such as the United States and some of its allies who are instigating a continuation of the bloody conflict in Syria by catering to militants and extremists of various sorts," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The attack occurred on Monday, the day that the US announced it was suspending its cooperation with Russia on Syria amid Russia's continued bombing of one of Syria's most populous cities, Aleppo.

The northern city of Aleppo is divided between a government-held western sector and the rebel-held east, where an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 civilians are under siege by government forces backed by Russian airstrikes.

Russia denounced the embassy attack as a "crime committed by terrorists" and said it was most likely perpetrated by the al-Qaeda-linked Fatah al-Sham Front, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, or Islamist group Faylaq al-Rahman.

One of the mortar shells exploded near the embassy's residential complex, and "by sheer luck, none of the embassy's employees was hurt," the Foreign Ministry said.

Russia's Defence Ministry also announced Tuesday that it had sent an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Syria, specifically to protect Russia's naval facility in the coastal Syrian city of Tartus.

The US on Tuesday questioned the purpose of the Russian anti-aircraft deployment.

"Last I checked, the Russians said that their primary goal was to fight extremism, [Islamic State and al-Nusra Front], in Syria. And neither one has an air force," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.

"So I would question just what the purpose of the system is ... Maybe the Russians have a better explanation."

Syrian state media reported that several people were killed and dozens injured in a rebel attack on government-held parts of western Aleppo.

Russia has supported the Syrian government with a bombing campaign against rebel groups in the country for more than a year. The US and some Middle Eastern powers have backed certain rebel groups seeking to overthrow the Syrian government.

However, both the US and Russia agree on the need to eliminate UN-designated terrorist groups that have gained significant territory in the war-town country in recent years.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that despite suspending coordination with Russia, the US is "not giving up" on the Syrian people.

"We are going to continue to try to find a way forward in order to end this war," Kerry said at a think-tank event in Brussels. He noted that the US would do "everything possible" to find a way forward with the international Syria support group, the United Nations or in smaller multilateral meetings.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring organization, said more than 400 cilivians have been killed in Aleppo since a US- and Russian-backed ceasefire collapsed about two weeks ago.

In a Kurdish-held part of north-eastern Syria, a suicide attack on a wedding on Monday night killed more than 30 people, with a leader of the opposition Kurdish Yekiti party reported among the dead.

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said Tuesday in Geneva that limiting the veto power of UN Security Council member states such as Russia would enable Syria war crime cases to be brought to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The current attacks against civilians, medical units and aid workers may amount to war crimes or even worse, said Zeid, a Jordanian prince.

Vitaly Churkin, Russian ambassador to the UN, rejected Zeid's call noting it wasn't "his responsibility to discuss veto powers."

"Unfortunately, my good friend has been overstepping the limits of his responsibilities quite a bit and this is unfortunate," Churkin said.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in Strasbourg that he will strongly urge the United States and Russia to resume their negotiations over Syria, at talks this week with US Secretary of State John Kerry and high-level officials from Moscow.

Speaking to reporters, Ban described the situation in Aleppo as "really heart-breaking and most troubling."

Related stories

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.