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Syria promises truce break for Eid

The Syrian government and some rebel leaders have agreed to a ceasefire during the forthcoming Muslim four-day holiday.

The UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said Syrian president Bashar Assad will issue a statement on accepting a truce. The Eid al-Adha holiday begins on Friday.

The fighting in Syria has killed more than 34,000 people since March last year, according to activists.

The announcement came as government forces intensified airstrikes on rebel-held area near the besieged city of Aleppo.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry stressed that the halt of military operations during Eid al-Adha is still "being studied" by the General Command of the Army and the Syrian armed forces, and that "the final position on this matter will be issued on Thursday."

Abdelbaset Sieda, the head of the Syrian National Council, the main opposition group in exile, said he had little hope the truce would take hold. He said opposition fighters have told him they are willing to adhere to it, but will respond if attacked by regime forces.

"This regime, we don't trust it, because it is saying something and doing something else on the ground," he said.

The airstrikes hit the village of Mar Shureen near a strategic rebel-held town in the country's north, killing five members of an extended family.

The village is just outside the town of Maaret al-Numan, about a mile from a Syrian military camp that troops and rebels have been fighting over for several days.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, the director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government aircraft hit the village in the morning hours. The dead include a father and his two sons, aged 10 and 24, as well as a two other relatives, a woman and a young man.


From Belfast Telegraph