Syrian official: Troops began pullout from cities

ALBERT AJI BEN HUBBARD Associated Press Published:

BEIRUT (AP) -- A Syrian government official says troops have begun withdrawing from some cities and are returning to their bases.

The official told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the withdrawal was mainly from calm cities while in tense areas, regime forces are redeploying and taking positions on the outskirts.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, spoke days after Damascus accepted an April 10 deadline to carry out international envoy Kofi Annan's cease-fire plan. It requires regime forces to withdraw from towns and cities and observe a cease-fire. Rebel fighters are to immediately follow by ceasing violence.