By Orla Guerin
BBC News, Damascus
Syria has said it will withdraw troops in line with a 1989 agreement, amid international demands for Damascus to end its occupation in Lebanon.
Syria's army occupies strategic positions deep inside Lebanon
Pressure on the regime has grown since the assassination last week of Lebanese politician Rafik Hariri, widely blamed on Syria.
The Syrian statement is a clear sign that Syria is feeling the strain.
Whoever killed Rafik Hariri, his death is squeezing the regime in Syria and may reshape the Middle East.
If Damascus was behind it, it is a stunning own goal.
Under pressure from Washington, the Europeans and the Lebanese opposition, the regime spoke on Thursday.
The foreign ministry issued a statement saying Syria would make withdrawals from Lebanon.
In the past, Syria would not even say the word withdrawal, talking instead of redeployment.
So far, so good. But the policy is not new.
Withdrawals have been made before and as the opposition in Lebanon is keen to stress, there is no talk of a complete pullout, and there is no timetable for moving troops.
There is every chance though that Syria will act fast, transferring some units away from Beirut to the Bekaa Valley, close to the Syrian border, in the hopes of easing the international pressure.
That move was supposed to happen years ago and Syria may resist going any further than this.