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Deadly Attacks In Syria As Iran's Zarif Arrives

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have discussed ways of ending Syria's civil war in Damascus.

Assad thanked key ally Iran for its support in a four-year civil war that has killed more than 250,000 people.

Assad and Zarif were expected on August 12 to discuss a four-point proposal Iran wants to offer to the United Nations to end Syria’s civil war.

After their meeting Zarif said that any solution to the crisis should be “far from any foreign intervention and in a way that preserves the country's territorial unity" and independence, according to the Syrian state news agency SANA.

Heavy rebel shelling and government air strikes killed dozens in the Syrian capital on August 12, just hours before Zarif arrived in Damascus.

Iran is one of Assad's strongest backers, and has been marketing itself as a key player that could help resolve Syria's crisis following the successfully brokered nuclear deal.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP