New Syrian cease-fire proposal draws pessimism

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also proposed a cease-fire during Eid last week. 

"This truce is just a media bubble. Who is going to implement it and who is going to supervise it?" Col. Qassim Saadeddine, a spokesman for the joint command of the Free Syrian Army, told Reuters.


"We are still committed to any UN decision. But on this truce ... what is the mechanism to implement it?" said Saadeddine, a former Syrian army official who defected and now runs a rebel military council in Homs.

While Assad met with Brahimi on Sunday, the Syrian government is not yet backing q cease-fire. The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency quoted Assad as saying any “initiative or peace process” should be based on the principle of halting terrorism, the way the government refers to attacks from the Syrian opposition.

A senior Arab League official told Reuters that the hope of a ceasefire was “weak.”

"The indications that are now apparent and the government's reaction ... do not show any signs of a real desire to implement this ceasefire," said Ahmed Ben Hilli, deputy secretary-general of the Arab League.

The renewed talk of a cease-fire in Syria follows the failure of earlier attempts to stop the violence by the same means. Former Syrian peace envoy Kofi Annan made a proposal that Assad initially agreed to, but Assad’s forces did not implement the cease-fire and fighting only escalated.

The United Nations is preparing various contingency plans for Syria, including sending up to 3,000 peacekeepers if a more sustained cease-fire could take hold beyond the three-day Eid holiday, according to Reuters.