A higher-ranking Syrian official is today quoted as saying, “The Syrian armed forces will not withdraw from population centers without concomitant steps and without guarantees from UN(-Arab League) envoy Kofi Annan that countries arming and funding the rebels and instigating Syrian bloodshed have desisted.”
The unnamed senior Syrian official made his statement to Lebanese Hezbollah’s news network al-Manar. The report in al-Manar is parroted this morning by Syria’s Champress.
The official also said, “The Army is not prepared to withdraw (from restive urban areas), leaving a vacuum for the rebels to wreak havoc. We want assurances from Annan and his sponsors. If the opposite side does not fulfill its commitments to his plan, we won’t be fulfilling ours.”