Authors: Jeanette Torres
(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- Syria said Tuesday that it had begun a pullout of government forces from some of its cities as agreed to in a plan crafted by United Nations special emissary Kofi Annan but there was no way to verify that claim.
The six-point Annan proposal calls for Damascus to end attacks on pro-democracy fighters and remove all soldiers and artillery from populated areas by April 10.
While Annan told the U.N. Security Council that Syria agreed to his plan, President Bashar al-Assad's government has made no official announcement regarding its adherence to the pact.
According to one official, Syria troops left "calm cities" Tuesday while pulling back to the outskirts of cities where the situation remains tense between the military and activists from the Free Syria Army.
So far, anti-government forces say they see little movement on Damascus' part and there were reports by Amnesty International of arrests still taking place all over the country.
Rebels believe that al-Assad's loyalists have actually increased their attacks on his enemies.
The Obama administration and the rest of the international community remain skeptical that al-Bashar will keep his word, given how he's gone back on other agreements to end the year-long conflict that has left more 9,000 people dead as he seeks to crush all political opposition to his autocratic rule.
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