CHICAGO - The White House said on Saturday it was consulting international partners on "next steps" in the Syria crisis after UN observers suspended operations there in response to violence that has escalated despite a ceasefire.

"We call again on the Syrian regime to uphold its commitments under the Annan plan, including the full implementation of a ceasefire," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement.

"At this critical juncture, we are consulting with our international partners regarding next steps toward a Syrian-led political transition as called for in Security Council resolutions," he said, but provided no specifics.

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