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05:46 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
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Syria Announces Eid al-Adha Holiday Ceasefire

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The Syrian military command announced it would cease military operations across the country during the Eid al-Adha holiday, which begins on Thursday and continues through the weekend.

The Syrian military command announced it would cease military operations across the country during the Eid al-Adha holiday, which begins on Thursday and continues through the weekend.

 

A statement by the Syrian military command, broadcast by the Syria Satellite TV says, however, that the Syrian armed forces reserve the right to respond “to attacks on civilians, government troops, administrative and private buildings, especially when car bombs and other explosive devices are used."

 

The armed forces also pledged response “to any attempt by terrorist groups to reinforce their positions with personnel or ammunition.”

 

The statement also warns that “any attempt by neighboring states to help terrorists to cross into Syrian territory in breach of their international commitments” will not be left unanswered.

 

Syrian opposition members earlier agreed on a ceasefire on the condition that both sides meet their commitment to lay down arms.

 

Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra extremist group turned the proposal down on Wednesday, calling it a “filthy game” and saying they have no trust in Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

 

The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed hope that the truce, backed by the UN Security Council, will be observed.

 

“We hope that the ceasefire… will take place and millions of Syrian Muslims will be able to spend the holiday in an appropriate atmosphere, without having to fear for their lives and the lives of their loved ones, and without violence,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

 

Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, comes the day after pilgrims making the Hajj to Mecca in Saudi Arabia descend from Mount Arafat. It commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim's readiness to sacrifice his first born son Ishmael.

 

Nowadays, the holiday celebrates commitment, obedience and self-sacrifice in the name of Allah.