Calm at start of Syria Eid ceasefire

2012-10-26 07:51

Beirut - Syria was calm early on Friday after the country's army and main rebel force said they had agreed to a ceasefire for the four-day Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The calm had settled following a night of heavy fighting across the country, the watchdog group said.

Syrian state television showed President Bashar Assad attending morning prayers for the start of Eid at a mosque in Damascus, smiling and seeming relaxed as he chatted with other worshippers.

The Observatory said fighting had taken place overnight around the country, including in the Damascus area, in Syria's commercial capital Aleppo and in the centre of the country near the border with Lebanon.

The ceasefire comes at the initiative of UN and Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi. Both the regime and the main rebel force, the Free Syrian Army, have agreed to temporarily lay down their arms but reserved the right to respond to any aggression.

If the ceasefire holds, it would be the first real breakthrough in halting - even temporarily - the 19-month conflict that rights groups say has killed more than 35 000 people in Syria.

  • phae.rayden - 2012-10-26 08:12

    Does anyone else find this beyond belief? They stop murdering eachother for four days to pray to a God, but will be quite happy to resume their monstrous activities thereafter, can it get more twisted than this?

      bruce.williams.1044186 - 2012-10-26 08:15

      I agree, it is ridiculous!! They sit around and pray together the one day, the next day they are trying to blow each other up! Crazy.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-26 08:21

      Islam is a young religion. Remember when Christianity was young? It was at least as brutal and violent.

      J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-10-26 08:33

      Good, Fred.

  • sticky.toffee - 2012-10-26 08:13

    Yes this makes perfect sense. Lets stop killing each other for four days so we can act holy and pray. In four days time....I KILL YOU :) Such hipocrates.

  • kevin.wright.58555 - 2012-10-26 08:14

    Oh, so let's stop killing each other, pray for a few days, respect the religious days and then start killing each other again once it's done!! Makes sense. Clearly religion is practiced only a few days of the year?

  • daleinn - 2012-10-26 08:14

    Hope their prayers are answered,ie. the value of life.. its pathetic the leaders of the muslim world , have failed in stopping the bloodshed.. at least the fingerpointing... can rest in the middle east.. and not the west for a change.

  • graeme.aitken.545 - 2012-10-26 08:30

    Who's side is allah on ?....what a bunch of hypocrites

      zaahid.appoles - 2012-10-26 09:26

      One day in ur side also

  • tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-10-26 08:36

    Let's hope both sides exceed expectations. As for the people saying how 'ridiculous' this is. Why would you think that during a civil war? why bring religion into it when during WW1 a famous soccer game was played by opposing armies on christmas day. Who the next day continued their usual horrific trench warfare against each other. War is crazy, but I'm sure all Syrians will appreciate the calm.

      J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-10-26 16:00

      A trenchant point. The WW1 soccer game was the spontaneous act of Tommy Atkins and Henk Schmidt, who chose Christmas Day to avoid being shot for treason.

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-10-26 10:33

    Hopefully the leaders from both sides will get together and discuss things over a hearty feast. To all Muslim readers, have a pleasant and happy Eid Mubarak.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-26 11:27

      I just recommended this comment, but I agree with it so much I feel the need to add an approving comment too.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-27 12:55

      Fidel, Thank you, thank you, I got tears in my eyes; even the violent loony left wants one peaceful weekend, snik, snik....

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