NEWS > EVERYONE ELSE > SYRIAN EID CEASEFIRE INTERRUPTED BY THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF A CEASEFIRE, EXPLOSIONS
SYRIAN EID CEASEFIRE INTERRUPTED BY THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF A CEASEFIRE, EXPLOSIONS
October 26 2012
Damascus, Syria – The first day of Eid al-Adha was supposed to be a time of peace in Syria, a literal time of peace. Both government and rebel forces had agreed to a ceasefire to mark the holiday which lasts, more or less, four days, the first such event in the 20-month uprising in the country.
It was a rare win for the forces of peace, an agreement hashed out by UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi which many felt could well be a stepping stone to a lasting understanding between the opposing forces inside the country and, very optimistically, the beginning of the end of the Civil War that has gripped the nation.
For a few hours it seemed like that was going to work, that the ceasefire could actually have an impact and that the people of Syria could have at least a little bit of respite from the fighting, and that’s what they got, a little bit of respite, a very little bit before the fighting started again. Already both sides have started to battle one another in basically a restart of the conflicts in what is, basically, the complete opposite of a ceasefire.
“Syrian armed forces will, however, reserve the right to reply to terrorists attacks, attempts of armed groups to reinforce or resupply, or attempts to infiltrate from neighbouring countries,” said the government prior to the start of the ceasefire, which of course is not a good sign.
Rebel forces also said basically the same thing which put the whole process in doubt from the start.
It’s not clear how many people have died since the start of the ceasefire period but it’s probably enough to declare it a failure.
“Clearly if people are fighting and buildings are being blown up then the ceasefire is not working. Even if the violence is reduced, as in not as many people being killed, it’s still not really a ceasefire if people are firing guns and launching rockets at each other. Ceasefire agreements really don’t work that way, generally speaking,” said Scrape TV Middle East analyst David Gershwin. “Of course we are talking about a Syrian version of a ceasefire which is much different than it is in other places around the world but generally speaking it’s important for any ceasefire to actually cease the firing of weapons. That’s actually kind of essential to the whole process and without it you really don’t have anything resembling a ceasefire at all, honestly.”
Previous attempts at a ceasefire have failed entirely as it appears is the case with this one.
“Clearly fighting is not what people wanted during this period. I think the objective was, had to have been, for people to have put down their guns and stop firing them at each other, thereby ending the violence at least for a few days. I’m pretty sure that was the core idea behind the whole ceasefire agreement and without that in place it’s not really in the spirit of that,” continued Gershwin. “Hopefully the violence subsides over the day and for the next few so they can at least have a semblance of what a ceasefire would be, that would be nice but of course no one should bet on that unless you want to lose money.”
It’s not clear why anyone would bet on such a thing at all.
Emil Uliya, International Correspondent