Syria Govt Declares Ceasefire Through Monday

Warns It Will Retaliate Against Rebel Attacks

The Syrian government has announced its intention to go through with a planned four-day ceasefire in the ongoing civil war, refraining from any offensive operations from Friday through the end of Monday for the Eid al-Adha holiday.

The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) has also agreed to the ceasefire, and like the government says it will only launch retaliatory strikes if it is attacked first. Other rebel factions, including Ansar al-Islam and the al-Nusra Front are disavowing the ceasefire, and promising to attack.

This could make it difficult for the military and FSA to keep the ceasefire going through the four days, as the Islamist factions are liable to launch attacks in such a way as to spark battles between the two. As with past ceasefires, this will likely leave both the FSA and the government claiming the other broke the ceasefire first.

Some rebel factions are looking to take advantage of the pause by pressing to capture new areas just ahead of the ceasefire, claiming new Aleppo neighborhoods and hoping that by retaining them through the ceasefire they can solidify their claims in the contested city.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.