Syria rebels pessimistic on mediator's ceasefire plan

By REUTERS
October 22, 2012 18:21

BEIRUT - Syrian rebels cast doubt on Monday on prospects for a temporary truce aimed at stemming bloodshed in the 19-month-old conflict, saying it was not clear how an informal ceasefire this week could be implemented.

International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi, who held talks in Damascus on Sunday with Syrian President Bashar Assad, has proposed Assad's forces and the rebels hold fire during the three-day Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha which starts on Friday.

His call has won the backing of international powers on both sides of the crisis including Iran and Russia, which have provided support to Assad, and Turkey, which backs the rebels in a conflict that has killed 30,000 people.

But neither Syria's army nor the rebels have shown signs of easing off as Eid nears. More than 200 people were killed on Sunday in fighting and bombardments including 60 soldiers, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.


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