Syrian army pledges four-day truce amid rebel gains

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BEIRUT — The Syrian army promised to observe a four-day cease-fire for a Muslim holiday starting Friday, while rebels claimed to have taken control of new areas in the key battleground of Aleppo.

In the announcement read today on state TV, the army granted itself significant loopholes, saying it will respond to rebel attacks or efforts to bolster their positions as well as the entry of fighters into Syria from neighboring countries.

Rebel commanders inside Syria have said in recent days that they did not plan to stop fighting.

The cease-fire pledge came amid rebel claims of major advances in Syria’s largest city today, with the rebels claiming to have seized area long controlled by the regime.

The two sides have been stalemated for months in the fight for Aleppo.

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