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Bashar al-Assad sure has a funny way of showing he's "committed" to ending violence as Syrian forces shelled the city of Homs Wednesday morning, continuing the bombardment for the fifth day in a row. If you've been following the Syrian violence, Wednesday's scenario sounds like routine procedure: resistance forces report of heavy shelling, conflicting casualty numbers, and a trickle of reports based on Syrian state television. The only difference is that today's violence all but contradicts yesterday's Russian visit, a visit where Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov claimed that al-Assad was open for dialogue and was "committed" to ending violence.

The BBC reports that it's difficult to confirm the number of casualties at the moment, but Syrian opposition forces claim the number is around 40. The Guardian adds that despite the violence, the White House has insisted it will not arm rebel forces, even though CNN confirmed last night (thanks to a couple of unnamed military officials) the U.S. has begun to weigh its options in the region.

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