The United States said Tuesday it hoped the United Nations Security Council would consider action if UN envoy Kofi Annan concludes Syria's government broke troop withdrawal commitments.
Annan was expected to write a letter to the Security Council later on Tuesday, the day on which the Syrian government is supposed to pull back its troops and armor from population centers ahead of a ceasefire on Thursday.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Washington was waiting for Annan's assessment of the situation, but so far had only seen evidence of further "brutality and aggression" from President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
"We would certainly hope the UN Security Council would evaluate the situation in Syria if in fact Mr Annan finds that the Assad regime has not abided by its own commitments to begin withdrawal by today," Carney said.
Carney, speaking aboard Air Force One, said that the United States would work with its partners and other nations in the aftermath of Annan's letter to decide next steps regarding Syria.
Annan said in Turkey that the Syrian army was pulling out of some areas of the country, but moving into others.
"The Syrian military is withdrawing from some areas but moving to others not previously targeted," Annan said.
Activists and monitors said that Syrian forces killed at least seven civilians on Tuesday as they pounded protest hubs and deployed reinforcements in apparent breach of a UN-backed peace plan.
But France dismissed the claim as a "flagrant lie" and Britain, echoing the United States, said Syria was intensifying attacks on the opposition on the same day that the Annan plan was scheduled to begin taking effect.
The Annan plan has been under a cloud since Sunday, when Damascus said it would keep its side of the bargain only if rebels gave written guarantees they would also stop fighting, a condition rejected out of hand by the rebels.
Source: AFP American Edition