DAMASCUS, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The ceasefire in Syria during the first day of Eid al-Adha, which supposedly went into effect earlier on Friday, has been violated due to sporatic skirmishes taking place mostly in the northern province of Aleppo, a main hotspot in Syria's 19-month-old crisis.
The Syrian army and the armed rebels on Thursday voiced commitment to the internationally-backed cease-fire during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha amid rejection from the extremist groups currently operative on ground.
While all people are concentrated to see if the cease-fire actually took hold, a number of violations were reported to have taken place to overburden the tenuous truce.
The first violation took place in the northern province of Idlib. According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, violent clashes were taking place in the surrounding of Wadi al-Dayf encampment, east of Ma'arat al-N'uman town, between government forces, rebel fighters, and fighters from the al-Qaida- linked group al-Nusra front.
Al-Nusra Front, a Jihadist group affiliated with al-Qaida that has claimed responsibility for several high-profile suicide bombings in Syria, refused to observe the ceasefire, saying it would not be tricked into playing "filthy games."
Another group, Ansar al-Islam, also rejected the truce, saying such truce plays in the hands of the government.
The second violation, meanwhile, took place in the northern province of Aleppo, when armed men fired three mortar shells that struck al-Arman district in the city, but caused no injuries, pro- government media said.
The third, fourth, and fifth violations also occurred in Aleppo, when armed groups attacked three military checkpoints at al-Sabil district, al-Laimon area and near the French Hospital, according to pro-government news reports.
On the opposition side, the Observatory said a car exploded in the Damascus district of al-Tadamon, giving no reports of human losses yet. It said several mortar shells fell on the perimeter of the al-Mazzeh military airport.
In Aleppo, the activists' group said violent clashes are taking place between government forces and rebel fighters at a military checkpoint by the al-Malhab military barracks in the city.
It also reported violence in restive suburbs of the capital Damascus, with no clear death toll yet.
Still, the activists' account was impossible of being checked independently.
Separately, the pro-government Sham FM said the government troops have released on Friday as many as 127 prisoners from the northern province of Hasaka, who have been pardoned under the general amnesty granted recently by President Bashar al-Assad.
The current Eid holiday is important as both conflicting parties agreed to observe a truce during the feast in response to the urging international calls for such a lull to pave the way for further pacification.
The Syrian army announced Thursday the cessation of all military operations during the holiday.
In a statement broadcast by the state-run Syrian TV, the army said all military operations would be halted during the four-day holiday, but warned that the decision is reversible in case the armed groups breached the truce.
The truce proposal was put forward by the UN-Arab League joint special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who has been shuttling regional countries to push for the truce as a prelude for further pacification.
DAMASCUS, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The ceasefire agreement between the Syrian government forces and the opposition has been welcomed by many international organizations and countries.
UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Thursday that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed reports of warring parties in Syria agreeing to observe a ceasefire during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, starting on Friday. Full story
DAMASCUS, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army and the armed rebels on Thursday voiced commitment to the internationally-backed cease-fire during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha amid rejection from the extremist groups currently operative on ground.
The Syrian army announced in a statement Thursday the halt of all military operations nationwide for the next four days to mark Eid al-Adha, however, preserving the right to retaliate in case the armed rebels continue aggressions against civilians and government troops. Full story