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Syrian military renews attacks, rebels say; cease-fire in tatters

October 27, 2012 |  7:42 am


BEIRUT -- The holiday cease-fire in Syria seemed all but dead on Saturday as opposition activists said government helicopters and planes resumed air attacks on several cities.

MiG fighter jets were reportedly attacking the Damascus suburbs, Aleppo and the eastern city of Deir Ezzor with artillery fire and shells and at least a dozen people were killed, activists said.

In Deir Ezzor a car bomb went off in the early morning, leaving about seven people dead, said Mohammad Yonus, an activist in the city. Both sides traded blame for the explosion, but Younes said the attack happened near a Free Syrian Army rebel checkpoint as well as a church.

In Aleppo, clashes raged throughout the city and residents said there had been no calming of violence in the first two days of the Eid Al-Adha holiday.

The four-day cease-fire was to begin on Friday at the start of the Muslim holiday and was brokered by U.N. and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in the hopes that it could lead to a more lasting cessation of violence. But observers held little hope that the truce would hold given that past attempts have failed and the violence has only grown more bloody.

In agreeing to the truce both the rebels and the regime had said they reserved the right to respond if the other side broke the truce. Hours into it Friday, the cease-fire was already in tatters with each side blaming the other. By the end of the end, more than 100 people had been killed.

Some in the armed opposition hadn’t agreed to the cease-fire, not believing the government would keep its word given its past track record of broken promises in diplomatic efforts.


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-- Times staff

Photo: Smoke rises from the Karmal Jabl neighborhood, during clashes between rebel fighters and the Syrian army in Aleppo, Syria, on Thursday. Credit: Narciso Contreras / Associated Press