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U.S. sees no evidence of Syrian forces pullout: White House


09:02, April 11, 2012

WASHINGTON, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The United States has seen no evidence of any troop withdrawal by the Syrian government forces, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday.

"We have seen no evidence thus far of any pullback," said Carney while traveling with U.S. President Barack Obama. "We have seen much evidence of further brutality and aggression against innocent civilians."

"We are waiting for the assessment that Special Envoy Kofi Annan will put forward today at the United Nations. And we will certainly work, in the aftermath of that, with our partners and others on next steps with regards to Syria," he told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Carney's statement came as Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League joint special envoy for Syria, on Tuesday urged the Syrian authorities to "seize the opportunity to make a fundamental change of course" by immediately implementing a peace plan proposed by him and accepted by Damascus.

In response to the statement by Syrian foreign minister that the government troops have begun to pull back, Carney said that many promises made by leaders of the Assad regime "overwhelmingly turned out to be empty."

Annan's six-point plan calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from population centers, a daily halt in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid and treatment for the wounded, as well as talks between the government and opposition.

If the Syrian government meets the April 10 deadline, the Syrian opposition should halt fighting 48 hours after the withdrawal of government forces, so all fighting in the country must stop by 6 a.m. Damascus time on April 12, Annan said last week while briefing the UN General Assembly.


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