US, Arab League Back UN Call for Syria Ceasefire

Syrian Govt 'Interested,' But Are Rebels on Board?

The US State Department and the Secretary-General of the Arab League have both issued statements today endorsing UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi’s call for a temporary ceasefire in the ongoing Syrian Civil War.

The Arab League statement urged not only the various combat factions to cease fire, but for the international community to unite behind the effort for a pause. Brahimi has suggested that a ceasefire for the multi-day Eid al-Adha holiday might convince both sides that negotiations are possible.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has said that they are “open” to the possibility of having such a ceasefire, but only if all the rebels agree. So far most rebel factions have not publicly commented, though the Syrian National Council (SNC), a political faction, said they believed the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the largest rebel group, is likely to reciprocate.

If the US and Arab League are genuinely on board, that might make it tough for most of the rebel groups not to go along with the deal, as they are the source of much of the rebels’ funding and weaponry.

The sort of ambiguity about the ceasefire makes the chances of putting together a deal by next Thursday uncertain at best. Several past efforts to negotiate ceasefires have ended with all sides accusing all other sides of violating the deal.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.