Syrian regime announces three day nationwide 'ceasefire' for Eid

Syrian regime announces three day nationwide 'ceasefire' for Eid
The Syrian regime have declared a 72-hour ceasefire to mark the start of the Muslim holiday, Eid al-Fitr, although the opposition are sceptical after repeated false truce promises by Damascus.
2 min read
06 July, 2016

Assad Eid al-Fitr

The Syrian army declared a three day ceasefire across the country beginning Wednesday, to coincide with the beginning of Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday.

The announcement comes as Ramadan comes to an end, and the three day Eid holiday is about to begin.

It comes after repeated broken promises by Damascus following announcements of similar truces.

"A 'regime of silence' is applied across all territory of the Syrian Arab Republic for 72 hours from 1am on 6 July to midnight on 8 July," the army said in a statement republished by official media.

If it holds, this would be the first truce since a US-Russia-brokered "cessation of hostilities" came into effect on 27 February, but fell apart after regime offensives and bombing raids.

That agreement - which excludes the Islamic State group and other organisation the regime deemed to be "terrorist" - sharply reduced violence across the country for weeks.

It remains unclear if this truce excludes groups Damscus considers "terrorists".

There was no immediate reaction from Syria's opposition groups battling President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Eid prayers

Meanwhile, Assad made a rare public appearance on Wednesday as he joined Eid al-Fitr prayers at a mosque in the city of Homs.

Large parts of Homs were once under the control of rebels fighting to overthrow Assad's regime. But since May 2014, they have been confined to a single besieged neighbourhood in the city's outskirts.

The al-Safa mosque - where Assad joined worshippers - is in Akrama, a loyalist neighbourhood which has been hit by repeated attacks by the Islamic State group and its extremist rival al-Qaeda.

State television broadcast footage of the president in the congregation alongside Islamic Endowments Minister Mohammad Abdel Sattar Sayyed and Syria's top Muslim cleric Ahmad Badredine Hassoun.

Since the civil war erupted in 2011, Assad has made only rare public appearances and nearly all of those have been in Damascus.