As a U.S.-Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement between the opposing forces in the Syrian civil war is about to take effect on September 12, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (shown) issued a statement broadcast by state media, in which he said: “The Syrian state is determined to recover every area from the terrorists.”
An AP report noted that Assad made his statement during a rare public appearance in the Damascus suburb of Daraya. Rebel leaders surrendered Daraya last month and the government regained control of the city after a four-year siege. During that visit, Assad attended prayers in a mosque celebrating the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
According to the terms of the ceasefire agreement, which was announced in Geneva on September 10 by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the Syrian government and the anti-government rebels are expected to halt all fighting and bombing at 7:00 p.m. local time on September 12 (noon Eastern time).
The AP quoted from a text message it received from Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy for Syria stationed in Geneva, who said his office would monitor the start of the cease-fire “carefully, before making any hurried comments.”