It is to come into force on friday morning with the beginning of the sacrificial festival eid al-adha. Internationally, the cease-fire announcement was buried.
The armed opposition had earlier agreed to the proposal by UN mediator lakhdar brahimi to halt the killing over the holidays. Observers, however, are skeptical that the cease-fire will actually hold.
After a long period of hesitation, the syrian army leadership announced on thursday evening in a statement broadcast on state television that it would support the cease-fire. She added, however, that the intention was to be able to react to violations. The reasons given for the military intervention were the activities of "terrorists" who were taking advantage of the situation to acquire weapons. The army must also intervene if fighters from neighboring countries cross the border into syria.