Turkey, Germany call for Syria truce during Muslim holiday
Assad regime says it wants a cease-fire but the rebels lack a unified leadership that can agree to it; Turkey fires on Syria after two shells landed in Turkish territory.
Turkey and Germany on Friday joined an appeal for a cease-fire to stop the bloodshed in Syria during a Muslim holiday next week.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said both Syrian forces and rebels should end hostilities "at least" through the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday that begins on Oct. 26. He said the sides should also aim for a truce that lasts beyond the holiday.
The Joint UN-Arab League envoy to the Syria conflict, Lakhdar Brahimi, and a number of countries are pushing for a temporary truce. Brahimi has called on the Syrian government to take the initiative, a position echoed by Turkey.
Davutoglu said: "It is especially important for the Syrian regime, which has launched bombs on its people with planes and helicopters, to halt these attacks immediately and without preconditions."
"Let's hope that the Syrian regime listens to this call by the international community and stops these attacks during Eid al-Adha," he said. "In response, we expect the opposition to abide by the cease-fire in the same way."
Germany, a member of the UN Security Council, added its support for a temporary cease-fire.
"This would be an important humanitarian glimmer of hope for people in Syria," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement.
Syria says it wants a cease-fire but the rebels lack a unified leadership that can agree to it.
Both sides have flouted previous cease-fires after verbally agreeing to them.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, called for the truce on Thursday. The Iraqi government also expressed its support in a statement, calling on all sides to abandon violence "to save the region from more miseries and pains."
Meanwhile on Friday, Turkey's army fired on Syria after two shells launched from Syria landed in Turkish territory, Turkish state broadcaster TRT reported, underlining how tension between the two neighbors remains dangerously high.
TRT did not specify where the incident occurred and no further details were available. There were no reports of any casualties resulting from the exchange of fire.
Activists say more than 33,000 people have been killed since the anti-Assad uprising started in March 2011.
Davutoglu on Friday also promised increased food and medical aid for Syria during the holiday.