By Jeremy Herb
The White House says a cease-fire that began Thursday in Syria is not sufficient for the country to meet the terms of a peace plan.
There were reports of calm in Syria just hours after a cease-fire began, but White House press secretary Jay Carney said Syria had “clearly fallen short” of abiding by the six-point peace plan laid out by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.
While Syria appeared to be abiding by the cease-fire that began Thursday, according to reports, President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had not left populated areas, which they were supposed to do on Tuesday.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the pause in fighting was only a first step and Syria can’t “pick and choose” which parts of the agreement to accept.
"If it holds, a cease-fire is an important step, but it represents just one element of the special envoy’s plan," Clinton said Thursday. "The Annan plan is not a menu of options. It is a set of obligations. The burden of fully and visibly meeting all of these obligations continues to rest with the regime."
She said that the Obama administration supported an advance group ahead of a United Nations monitoring mission.
Annan said in a statement he was encouraged that the cease-fire was being initially followed.
Carney said that the Obama administration is still evaluating its next steps in Syria, and plans to work with its allies to decide the best route forward.