WASHINGTON - The United States on Friday called for a ceasefire in Syria during the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival next week, throwing its weight behind international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi's efforts to broker a halt to the worsening violence.

The State Department said it supports Brahimi's call for a ceasefire "so that the Syrian people may observe the religious holiday in peace and security."

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"We urge the Syrian government to stop all military operations and call on opposition forces to follow suit," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.