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Developing: Four-Day Truce Coming In Syria, U.N. Envoy Says

In Aleppo, Syria, an opposition fighter shouted as he manned a position on Monday.
Fabio Bucciarelli
AFP/Getty Images
In Aleppo, Syria, an opposition fighter shouted as he manned a position on Monday.

Earlier ceasefire deals have quickly fallen apart in Syria this year, so this news should be viewed with some skepticism:

"The Syrian government and some rebel leaders have agreed to a ceasefire during an upcoming four-day Muslim holiday, the U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria announced Wednesday. Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters in Cairo that President Bashar Assad's government has agreed to a truce during the Eid al-Adha holiday, which begins Friday. Brahimi said Damascus will issue a statement on accepting the truce for the holiday later 'today or tomorrow.' " ( The Associated Press)

The BBC adds that "Brahimi said he hoped to use the lull in fighting over Eid al-Adha ... to 'discuss a longer and more effective ceasefire.' "

But along with the failure of other ceasefires to take hold, there's this reason to be cautious: "Shortly after the announcement, the Syrian foreign ministry issued a statement saying that the government would take a final decision about the ceasefire on Thursday," al-Jazeera says.

And, al-Jazeera writes, " the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the unrelenting violence is dimming hopes for [an] Eid ceasefire. 'Neither the rebels nor the regime appear to want a ceasefire, and the daily death toll continues to exceed 100,' Rami Abdel Rahman, the Observatory director, told the AFP news agency."

Since protests against the regime of President Bashar Assad began in March 2011, and were followed by a harsh crackdown and civil war, more than 34,000 people have been killed, according to activists.

Update at 12:30 p.m. ET. Clinton Expresses Support For Ceasefire:

"The Obama administration is cautiously welcoming the possibility of a temporary cease-fire in Syria, saying it hopes calm might lead to political transition," The Associated Press reports. "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she supports U.N. peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's initiative and wants a transition process ending the Assad family's four-decade dictatorship."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.