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
    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.

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    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.

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