A holiday ceasefire that never really began has all but disintegrated as Syrian government troops and the rebels their fighting exchanged gunfire for a third straight day of the four-day truce.
President Bashar al-Assad’s military pounded Damascus and Homs today with artillery and airstrikes as rebels advanced on targets in the capital, The Associated Press reported.
The Eid al-Adha ceasefire – brokered by UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi – was to begin on Friday, but even then, activists reported fighting.
More than 30,000 people have died since the uprising began last spring.
Government bombs fell on Sunni Muslim areas of Damascus and further north in Homs today, Reuters said.
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“The ceasefire is practically over,” Fawaz Tello, a Berlin-based activist, told Reuters.
“Damascus has been under brutal air raids since day one and hundreds of people have been arrested. Assad has been trying to use the truce to seize back control of areas of Damascus.”
The truce appears to have had little or no effect. Through the first two days of the ceasefire, nearly 300 people died, BBC said.
Those numbers are in line with daily casualties reports in the last few weeks, BBC reported.
Bombing in Damascus threatened a hospital, cutting power and water, Al Jazeera said.
Patients were being evacuated, the network said.
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