Syrian regime vows to respect truce
The Syrian army will cease operations against rebels from Friday morning to Monday, thus implementing to a truce proposed by the international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi. However, the Syrian leadership reserves the right to retaliate in case of rebel attacks, according to a statement read Thursday on state television. "On the occasion of Eid al-Adha, the command of the Syrian armed forces announces the cessation of military operations in the territory of the Republic from Friday morning until Monday," the military said in this statement.
The army "reserves the right to retaliate if armed terrorist groups continue to fire on civilians and government forces, attacking public and private properties, or use car bombs and other types of bombs," read the text, however.
The troops will also use its weapons if the rebels "strengthen their positions or move fighters and ammunition" or "if neighboring countries are passing terrorists across their borders."
If the cease-fire is actually put in place, it will be the first to be respected in Syria, since mid-March 2011.
On its part, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has stated that it would cease fire once the troops of Bashar al-Assad have silenced their guns. But Al-Nosra Front, an Islamist group that claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against the regime, rejected the truce offer.
On April 12, a cease-fire declared on the initiative of Kofi Annan, the predecessor of Mr. Brahimi, for which the two sides had agreed, but it was shattered after a few hours, even though the fighting had decreased in intensity.