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October 24, 2012 2:36 pm

Syrian Government and Rebels Agree to Short Ceasefire Over Muslim Holiday

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Members of the Free Syrian Army. Photo: World Defence News.

A temporary ceasefire has been reached between the Syrian government and some rebel leaders during an upcoming four-day Muslim holiday, according to UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, the Associated Press reported.

There has been no clear end to the ongoing fighting in Syria, which began in March 2011. According to activists, the fighting in Syria has killed nearly 34,000 people.

While the short-term ceasefire gives hope, it is unclear if the current truce will hold following the Eid al-Adha holiday. The truce was announced as government forces intensified airstrikes on rebel-held area near the besieged city of Aleppo.

“This regime, we don’t trust it, because it is saying something and doing something else on the ground,” said Abdelbaset Sieda, the head of the Syrian National Council, the main opposition group in exile.

Last spring, former UN envoy Kofi Annan attempted to several times to broker a ceasefire that would lead to a peaceful transition of power. But the ceasefire never took hold as both sides continued to fight. However, Annan blamed the Syrian government as the main aggressor because it refused to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from Syrian cities.

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