Peace envoy appeals for Iran to broker ceasefire during Eid

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The Independent Online

A peace envoy for the United Nations and Arab League asked Iran yesterday to help broker a ceasefire in the Syrian conflict during the Muslim holiday of Eid ul-Adha.

Lakhdar Brahimi made the request during talks in Tehran, which remains the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's closest regional ally. Mr Brahimi, a veteran Algerian diplomat, said the civil war in Syria was getting worse by the day and stressed the urgent need to stop the bloodshed.

He suggested the truce be held during the Eid holiday, which starts a week on Friday and lasts for several days. It would help to "create an environment that would allow a political process to develop", said Mr Brahimi.

There was no immediate response from either side and with fighting raging yesterday in several Syrian cities and in the countryside, it was not clear if they would want to put the brakes on any battlefield advantages.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said two rebel-held districts of north-east Aleppo, al-Shaar and Karm al-Jabal, came under heavy bombardment from President Assad's forces yesterday.

Syrian television showed soldiers inside Aleppo's Great Mosque, which was badly damaged in fighting between government forces and rebels battling for control of the Old City.