Al-Assad Ally Still Hopes for Peace as Ceasefire Ends in Damascus
(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- There was little chance that the four-day ceasefire in Syria brokered by United Nations Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was going to last, but perhaps no one expected that it would be completely obliterated by the end of the Eid al-Adha holiday.
Cracks in the truce were evident on the first day as government forces and rebels accused one another of violating the tenuous agreement. By Monday, activists alleged that Syrian war planes were conducting their heaviest bombardment of the 19-month conflict against opposition strongholds in the six areas of Damascus.
According to one report, the bombardment resulted in over 100 buildings destroyed and entire neighborhoods deserted. There was also violence on the ground as a car bomb explosion killed at least ten people in residential areas described as being loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
Meeting in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, an ally of al-Assad, Brahimi said Monday that the ongoing violence would not deter his goal to bring permanent peace to Syria, where more than 30,000 people have died since March 2011.
Putting a new spin on the situation, Brahimi said that the failed ceasefire was more like a “pause” even as one watchdog group counted 420 fatalities during what was supposed to be a temporary armistice.
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