(DAMASCUS, Syria) — United Nations and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has got his wish for a temporary ceasefire in Syria, but will he soon wish that he hadn’t gone through all the trouble if it doesn’t hold up?
On Thursday, the Syrian government issued a statement that “Military operations will cease across the entire Syrian territory on 26 October until 29 October,” which covers the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
However, Damascus also issued the caveat that it has the option “to reply to terrorists attacks, attempts of armed groups to reinforce or resupply, or attempts to infiltrate from neighboring countries.”
That leaves it wide open for the four-day armistice to easily fall apart if President Bashar al-Assad’s forces believe they’re being threatened by rebel groups, who’ve expressed skepticism about their enemy’s true intentions.
Previous attempts at ceasefires have failed but Brahimi believes this one could work, given that he not only talked to both sides in the conflict but neighboring countries also gave their blessings to his efforts.
Since the conflict began in March 2011, activists contend that as many as 35,000 people have died although independent confirmations are impossible.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Michael H. O’Donnell, Idaho State Journal