News / Middle East

Syria Ponders Holiday Truce

Residents and members of the Free Syrian Army inspect Bilal mosque, which activists said was damaged after it was fired upon by a Syrian Air Force fighter jet loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, at Marat al-Numan near the northern province of Idli
Residents and members of the Free Syrian Army inspect Bilal mosque, which activists said was damaged after it was fired upon by a Syrian Air Force fighter jet loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, at Marat al-Numan near the northern province of Idli
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
The Syrian government is expected to announce Thursday its decision about taking part in a cease-fire during the Eid al-Adha holiday, which begins in the evening.

The foreign ministry said Wednesday that the government was still weighing whether it would participate in the truce.

Those comments followed an announcement by U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who said Syria and some rebel groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad had agreed to halt fighting during the holiday.

Lakhdar Brahimi

  • Named United Nations-Arab League envoy for Syria in August 2012
  • Appointed special advisor to U.N. Secretary-General in 2004
  • Headed U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2004
  • Other U.N. posts include special representative for Haiti and South Africa
  • Algerian foreign minister from 1991 to 1993
  • Under-Secretary-General of the Arab League from 1984 to 1991
  • Served as Algerian ambassador to Britain, Egypt and Sudan
Brahimi said he hopes a multi-day cease-fire will lead to a longer truce as part of a political process.

He later told the U.N. Security Council there is no quick solution to the fighting, and warned that another failure to break the violence would worsen the 19-month conflict and extend it to other countries.

The Security Council expressed support for the cease-fire and asked regional and international powers to "use their influence" to see that it takes effect.

A cease-fire deal brokered by Brahimi's predecessor as special envoy, former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, fell apart shortly after it took effect in April.

Opposition activists reported shelling by government forces Thursday near Damascus, as well as clashes between rebels and the army in Deraa province.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said Monday he was making preparations for a Syria peacekeeping force if a cease-fire takes hold.

Meanwhile, U.N. human rights investigators said Thursday they want to meet with Assad as part of their probe into possible rights violations committed in Syria.

  • A crowd gathers in front of damaged buildings after a car bomb exploded at Daf al-Shok district, in Damascus, Syria, October 26, 2012, in this photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA.
  • A crowd gathers in front of damaged buildings after a car bomb exploded at Daf al-Shok district, in Damascus, Syria, October 26, 2012, in this photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA.
  • Demonstrators hold opposition flags during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, after Eid al-Adha prayers, Dara, Syria, October 26, 2012.
  • Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (C) chats with people after prayers for Eid al-Adha at al-Afram Mosque, Damascus, Syria, October 26, 2012.
  • Members of the Free Syrian Army watch for snipers during fighting against pro-government forces in Harem, Idlib, Syria, October 25, 2012.
  • Smoke is seen after pro-government forces shelled the outskirts of Atareb, in Idlib governorate, Syria, October 24, 2012.
  • A member of the Free Syrian Army stands guard during a shelling by pro-government forces on the outskirts of Atareb, in Idlib governorate, Syria, October 24, 2012.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter smokes a cigarette as he guards his position in Aleppo, Syria, October 23, 2012.
  • Residents are seen near damaged buildings at Marat al-Numan, near the northern province of Idlib, Syria, October 23, 2012.
  • Children play on swings in Aleppo, Syria, October 23, 2012.
  • Turkish boys look through a shattered window after an anti-aircraft shell fired from Syria hit a health center across the border in Reyhanli, Hatay province, Turkey, October 23, 2012.
  • A building that anti-government sources said was destroyed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces is seen in Saqba, Damascus, Syria, October 22, 2012.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
October 26, 2012 5:45 PM
I don't think there can be any negotiations. If Assad doesn't want to leave for the sake of Syria and the Syrian people, the people will still fight for what is right. A Syria without Assad is what is right.

Just like years ago, Assad is doing exactly what his daddy did, try and exterminate any people that do not want him in power. Wake up Call for Assad... Your people hate you.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid