Rebels: Syria truce faces first major test tomorrow

"Biggest possible" demonstrations will take place after Friday prayers, opposition leader says, "While we call on Syrian people to protest strongly... we ask them to be cautious"; ceasefire appears to be holding.

By REUTERS
April 12, 2012 13:56
1 minute read.
Syrians demonstrate near Homs [file]

Syrians demonstrate near Homs 370 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Shaam News Network)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

BEIRUT - Syrian protests after weekly prayers on Friday will be the first major test for a UN-backed ceasefire, the head of the main opposition group said on Thursday, adding that the truce remains fragile as long as the army is deployed in urban areas.

"The Syrian people will go out tomorrow and it will be the biggest possible (demonstration) so that the Syrian people can express their will," Burhan Ghalioun told Reuters by telephone.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Ghalioun said the world should be skeptical of Syrian President Bashar Assad's commitment to the ceasefire, which came into effect at dawn on Thursday after weeks of bombardment by Assad's forces against opposition strongholds.

"We will see tomorrow if (the government) will keep its commitment. While we call on the Syrian people to protest strongly... we ask them to be cautious because the regime will not respect the ceasefire and will shoot," Ghalioun said.

The main weekly Muslim prayers on Friday have been a rallying point for protesters throughout the year-long uprising against Assad.

Click for full JPost coverage

"I see that this is a fragile ceasefire as long as the weapons are still in the street and not pulled back," Ghalioun said, adding that the Syrian Defense Ministry had warned it remained on alert with "its hand on the trigger."



The ceasefire brokered by international mediator Kofi Annan is the first in 13 months of protest and insurgency in which the United Nations says more than 9,000 people have been killed by Assad's forces. Authorities blame the violence on foreign-backed Islamist militants, who they say have killed 2,600 soldiers and police.

"I think the international community and Kofi Annan should deal with caution, and also the Syrian people should be careful," Ghalioun said.

Related Content

July 19, 2018
Sources close to Netanyahu: Trump knew the Iran nuclear deal was bad

By HERB KEINON, MICHAEL WILNER