How will Syria mark Eid al-Adha? (+video)
In recognition of the Muslim holiday, a ceasefire is planned in Syria beginning Friday and running through Monday. UN aid agencies are hoping to use the window to provide aid to Syrians living in hard-to-reach parts of the country.
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"We do not care about this truce. We are cautious. If the tanks are still there and the checkpoints are still there then what is the truce?" he said of the organisation, which includes several brigades fighting in the capital and Damascus province.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Battle for the heart of Syria: inside Aleppo
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Brahimi's predecessor, former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, declared a ceasefire in Syria on April 12, but it soon became a dead letter, along with the rest of his six-point peace plan.
Violence has intensified since then, with daily death tolls compiled by opposition monitoring groups often exceeding 200.
UN sees aid window
U.N. aid agencies have geared up to take advantage of any window of opportunity provided by a ceasefire to go to areas that have been difficult to reach due to fighting, a U.N. official in Geneva said.
"UN agencies have been preparing rapidly to scale up especially in areas that have been difficult to reach due to active conflict and which may become accessible as a result of these developments," he told Reuters.
The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said that it had prepared emergency kits for distribution for up to 13,000 families - an estimated 65,000 people - in previously inaccessible areas including Homs and the northeastern city of Hassaka.
"We and our partners want to be in a position to move quickly if security allows over the next few days," UNHCR Syria Representative Tarik Kurdi in Damascus said in a statement.
The U.N. World Food Programme has identified 90,000 people in 21 hotspots from Aleppo to Homs and Latakia in need food parcels and will try to reach them through local agencies, the U.N. official said.
On Thursday rebels seized two northern districts in Syria's largest city, Aleppo, activists said.
"We have just liberated Ashrafiyeh and the Syriac quarter," a rebel fighter said, referring to areas which had been held by Kurdish militias and troops loyal to Assad.
Rebels were still fighting around the Rahman Mosque district and trying to besiege a security building, he added.
Activists said at least 14 people were killed. It was not clear if the dead were fighters or civilians.
Later on Thursday activists reported that the Aleppo districts of al-Shaar, Bani Zeid and Saladin had come under army bombardment.
They also said there had been heavy fighting in the last few hours near Tel Kalakh, situated near the Lebanese border west of Homs where the army had used heavy artillery to hit the Sunni rebel stronghold.
In Geneva, Carla del Ponte, a former United Nations war crimes prosecutor, vowed on Thursday to bring to justice high-level Syrian political or military figures who may have ordered or committed war crimes.
Del Ponte, who has joined a team of U.N. human rights investigators on Syria, said she would help compile evidence which could be used in an international tribunal or Syrian national court.
IN PICTURES – Inside Aleppo, Syria