The Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad has declared "victory" over a year-long revolt, saying on Saturday that it will begin withdrawing the Army. This came after Assad agreed to a peace plan proposed by United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan. But Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdessi claimed that the military remain in opposition cities "in a state of self-defense and protecting civilians" and will only gradually pull out "once peace and security is restored." Meanwhile, activists say fresh violence claimed more lives in the country.
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