BEIRUT

Middle East

Syria truce seems to be holding: Arab League

Arab League assistant secretary general, Ahmed ben Hilli (L), and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari (R) listen to a question during a joint press conference at the Iraqi ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad on February 1, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ALI AL-SAADI

CAIRO: A ceasefire in Syria appeared to be holding and may eventually allow the deployment of peacekeepers, a senior Arab League official said on Friday, hours after the truce began.

Ahmed Ben Hilli, the deputy secretary general of the Arab League, told AFP the truce brokered by UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was "being respected according to initial indications".

He said the truce, partly aimed at allowing relief groups to reach isolated areas stricken by the conflict, could be followed by a longer ceasefire and a proposal to deploy UN peacekeepers.

"There could be a longer ceasefire, and a mechanism like peacekeeper forces from the United Nations. This is one of the main ideas being proposed" by Brahimi, he said.

His remarks came before the fragile ceasefire was shaken by isolated outbursts of violence at Harasta near the capital Damascus and around the Wadi Deif military base in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said security forces also fired at demonstrators, but the regime and main rebels groups have not indicated they would abandon the truce.

"Violent clashes started around 10:30 am (0730 GMT) around the Wadi Deif base. The army responded by bombing the neighbouring village of Deir Sharqi. It is the first violation of the ceasefire," the Observatory's Rami Abdul Rahman told AFP.

He said that among the rebels at the battle were members of the Islamist Al-Nusra Front, which said it would not respect the truce between President Bashar al-Assad's regime and the main rebel Free Syrian Army group.

The conflict pitting mostly Sunni rebels against Assad's minority Alawite-led regime began with protests in March 2011 that gave way to a civil war that has killed more than 35,000 people, according the Observatory.

 

Recommended

Related Articles

Entities

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here