The Syrian Cease Fire Didn't Last Long
The proposed holiday cease fire in Syria was broken before it ever began on Friday, with both sides of the conflict refusing to give up the fight, even for a day.
The proposed holiday cease fire in Syria was broken before it ever began on Friday, with both sides of the conflict refusing to give up the fight, even for a day. The U.N. special envoy to Syria wrung an agreement out of Bashar al-Assad's regime to halt the fighting for the four Eid al-Adha observance, but they only agreed on the conidtion that they could respond to rebel attacks or stop the rebels from re-arming or regrouping. Many of the rebel groups had flatly rejected the cease fire after Assad refused to release any political prisoners.
There was sporadic fighting throughout the night in a number of cities, and it didn't take look for attacks to step up again on Friday morning. Rebels stormed an army base near the main highway between Damascus and Aleppo, as government artillery shells hit a nearby village. Meanwhile, Syrian rockets were launched on the city of Homs.
While the cease fire never really took effect, some areas saw a temporary lull in the fighting, giving protesters a brief chance to march in the streets. Thousands of people demonstrated in Damascus and other cities following the Friday morning prayers, but many of the demonstrators were quickly dispersed with tear gas. Given the viciousness of the civil war so far and the total failure of previous cease fire efforts offered little hope that this new attempt to stop the shooting would end peacefully.