Syria touts US-brokered "silence," cease-fire disintegrates – CBS News

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Last Updated Apr 29, 2016 10:35 AM EDT

The Syrian army announced a temporary truce for the capital, Damascus, its suburbs, and the coastal province of Latakia on Friday, but not for the contested northern city of Aleppo. There, the fighting raged, with the government claiming rebel shells had killed at least 30 people as they left a mosque, and rebels reporting new government airstrikes.

CBS News correspondent Holly Williams reported that as the President Bashar Assad’s regime said it was embarking upon the new, partial cease-fire, the weeks-old truce which had brought relative calm to many areas across the battered nation was clearly breaking down.

What impact the new truce — which the State Department said had been negotiated with participation from both Russia and the U.S. — would actually have was not immediately clear. It’s unlikely the opposition would abide by it after days of government airstrikes and bombardments killed dozens in Aleppo.

The announcement was read on Syrian state TV on Friday. The army said the cease-fire would go into effect at 1 a.m. on Saturday.

The military statement said it would last just 24 hours in Damascus and its suburbs and three days in Latakia. The “regime of silence,” as it was dubbed by Russia and the Syrian military, would not affect operations in Aleppo.

State TV said several rockets hit the Malla Khan mosque in the Bab al-Faraj neighborhood, in government-held northern Aleppo, on Friday as worshippers left.

Opposition groups, meanwhile, reported fresh airstrikes Friday on rebel-held areas in the southern parts of the sprawling city.

While it remains unclear exactly who is behind those airstrikes, Williams says the Syrian regime, with its backers in Russia and Iran, has been trying to recapture all of Aleppo from rebel forces.

A neighborhood in the city’s south was pummelled by strikes on Thursday, destroying a hospital that had been the only remaining center in rebel territory offering pediatric care. There were children among the dead and injured, and the international aid group Doctors Without Borders said it was deliberately targeted.

Syrian military officials have denied responsibility for the strike on the al-Quds hospital on Thursday, but a spokesman for the German government reiterated Friday a belief voiced by U.S. officials the previous day that it was, in fact, likely regime forces behind the carnage.

“The available information suggests that this attack can, with some degree of probability, be traced back to the troops of (Assad’s) regime,” Steffen Seibert said, according to the Reuters news agency, adding that it was a “blatant violation of humanitarian law.”

With the wider cease-fire seemingly in tatters, a Syrian monitoring group said more than 120 people have been killed in rebel-controlled Aleppo over the last week, including 18 children.

Syria touts US-brokered "silence," cease-fire disintegrates – CBS News