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Airstrikes, car bombs in Syria leave brief cease-fire in tatters

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The BBC reports that according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition activist group, at least 110 people were killed yesterday alone, the third day of the cease-fire – 39 civilians, 34 rebel fighters, and 35 government security forces.

The Telegraph reports that death estimates for the second day of the cease-fire were somewhere between 91 and 114 – far lower than at the height of fighting, but still not a good sign for the chances of an extension of the break in fighting.

Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN special envoy to Syria who brokered the agreement, is expected to reopen talks at the UN Security Council, which backed the cease-fire. However, it is unclear what options he is left with after both the government and the rebels made it clear there would be no total compliance with this agreement. 

Page Fortna, a Columbia University political science professor who has authored books on peacekeeping and cease-fires, wrote presciently in Foreign Policy in the early hours of the agreement that "a few days of relief" will be useful and that there was the possibility of an agreement helping to build "a sliver of trust momentum toward a permanent end," but the factors working against that are myriad in a temporary cease-fire.

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