Syria’s Assad in ‘Good Mood’ as His Forces Strike Civilian Areas

Syrian President Bashar Assad was said to be in a “good mood” on Sunday despite recent U.S. airstrikes, praising Russian weaponry during a meeting with Russian lawmakers in Damascus. “President Assad was in absolutely positive spirits. He is in a good mood,” Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted Natalya Komarova, governor of Russia’s autonomous Khanty-Mansiysk district, as saying. Russian lawmakers cited in state media appeared to taunt the U.S. with boasts about Assad lauding the superiority of Soviet-era weapons over those of the U.S. The meeting came as Syrian regime forces renewed their onslaught on rebel-held areas north of Damascus, with at least 28 airstrikes launched on Homs and Hama, according to the White Helmets rescue group. The strikes were reportedly followed by artillery shelling, some of it in civilian areas.