Russia changes stance, says Syrian forces should pull out of conflict

Thursday, March 22, 2012 | 9:14 p.m. CDT; updated 10:01 p.m. CDT, Thursday, March 22, 2012

 MOSCOW — Syrian President Bashar Assad must take the first step toward settling his country's yearlong conflict by pulling his forces out of cities and allowing humanitarian assistance, a senior Russian lawmaker said Thursday, in a statement that signaled a marked shift in Moscow's stance.