International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Wednesday the Syrian government has agreed to a ceasefire during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha and that Damascus would announce the decision shortly.
The holiday starts on Thursday and lasts three or four days. Brahimi a mediator appointed by the United Nations and Arab League said some Syrian opposition groups he had been in contact with had also agreed to a truce in principle.
“After the visit I made to Damascus there is agreement from the Syrian government for a ceasefire during the Eid,” Brahimi told a news conference at the Cairo-based League.
He did not give a precise time period for the ceasefire but said Damascus would announce its agreement on Wednesday or Thursday. “Other factions in Syria that we were able to contact heads of fighting groups most of them also agree on the principle of the ceasefire.”
President Bashar al-Assad is fighting an insurgency that grew out of street protests 19 months ago and has escalated into a civil war in which 30, 000 people have been killed.
“If this initiative succeeds we hope that we can build on it in order to discuss more effective ceasefire and this has to be part of a comprehensive political process,” Brahimi said.
Russia: Rebels have stingers
Syrian rebels have acquired portable surface-to-air missiles including US-made Stingers the Interfax news agency quoted Russia s senior general as saying on Wednesday.
Like Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Russia has laid most of the blame for continuing violence on armed government foes it says are aided by encouragement and arms from abroad.