Will the Syrian cease fire hold?
The UN Security Council has voted to endorse the idea of a truce in Syria beginning Friday, the first day of an important Islamic holiday. The Syrian government has agreed to it but most rebel factions haven't indicated they will stop fighting.
The deputy head of the United Nations warned Thursday that there are no guarantees that a proposed Syrian cease-fire will hold, but urged Syrian rebels and the regime in Damascus to observe it.
The 15-nation U.N. Security Council unanimously endorsed the idea of a four-day cease-fire proposed by the U.N. secretary-general with the aim of setting up talks on ending the country's 19-month-old conflict. The truce is set to start Friday, during the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Adha.
A day before the proposed truce, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said, "We all have our eyes on the tragedy in Syria, and we pin our hopes now on the cease-fire that hopefully can take place."
Eliasson, a former Swedish foreign minister, urged both sides on the battlefield to seize the opportunity to ratchet down the bloodshed and create a climate for conducting talks.
"We very much hope that this first step towards the reduction of violence and the beginning of the political progress will be taken because we see very great dangers, both vis-a-vis the Syrian people and the future of the nation of Syria, and of course also for the security and stability of the region," he told reporters in Geneva, adding that there are many signs the conflict is spreading beyond Syria.
Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, has warned that the failure of yet another U.N. cease-fire plan would only worsen the fighting.
A "cease-fire has its major significance in the symbolic quieting, silencing of the guns, and letting the Syrian people finally have silence around themselves for the possibilities to see what the fighting has done. But the most important thing is that it could, possibly, create an environment in which a political process is possible," Eliasson said.
The idea of a "political process" is a pipedream. The rebels won't talk unless Assad agrees to leave and Assad won't negotiate his own downfall. The situation has gone far beyond politics and diplomacy and is now in the blood-hatred stage. Neither side will give an inch and neither will stop short of absolute victory.