Syria says it's committed to cease-fire

April 11, 2012 at 1:24 PM
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DAMASCUS, Syria, April 11 (UPI) -- An official in the Syrian Defense Ministry said military forces would honor a Thursday cease-fire after completing missions against "armed terrorist groups."

Syria, under the terms of a peace agreement brokered by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, is to pull its forces from the streets starting 6 a.m. Thursday.

A source in the Syrian Defense Ministry said Wednesday that armed forces would honor the truce but would remain ready to confront "any attack" by what it said were armed groups in the country.

"An official source at the Defense Ministry said that it has been decided to halt the armed forces' missions starting Thursday morning, after they carried out successful missions in combating criminal acts by armed terrorist groups and enforced the authority of the state on all its territories," a statement by the official Syrian Arab News Agency reports.

Annan is in Iran this week seeking support for the peace agreement. He said he received "positive answers" from the Syrian government. Iran's foreign minister said his government also supported the peace initiative, the BBC reports.

The United Nations said there is a team inside Syria for the potential deployment of monitors. The rebel Free Syrian Army said it was committed to the cease-fire but was reluctant to issue formal assurances because of its opposition to the government, the BBC reports.

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