Report: Shots Fired Toward Assad During Visit to Embattled City of Homs

Syria state television shows video of president walking through defeated rebel stronghold; no further details available in report on alleged assassination attempt.

Opposition forces in Syria reported Tuesday that shots were fired toward the entourage of Syrian President Bashar Assad during his visit to the defeated rebel stronghold in the city of Homs.

The report did not give further details and did not specify the origin of the shooting.
Syrian state television showed video of Assad, wearing an open-necked shirt with a blue suit, walking casually in the Baba Amr district, which was reclaimed by his forces earlier this month after 26 days of heavy bombardment.

Assad on first visit to Homs, March 27, 2012

"Life will return to normal in Baba Amr, better than it was before," Assad told a group of people shouting support for the president.

Activists says hundreds of civilians and opponents of Assad were killed in opposition areas of Homs in February by army shelling and snipers.

Assad, walking slowly through the streets under light rain, saw shattered and burned out buildings. He waved and smiled to small crowds who came out to greet him.

A spokesman for peace envoy Kofi Annan, representing the United Nations and the Arab League, said on Tuesday Assad had accepted basic terms of a peace plan that calls for national dialogue and does not hinge on his agreement to leave office and give up power.

"He thinks he won and scored a great victory," said opposition activist Saif Hurria, speaking by telephone from Homs.

"He wants to show the world he defeated and put down a revolution. But in fact he can't control Homs ... It seems he can't even release the video until he has left Homs. That is not control."

Syrian troops crossed into Lebanon on Tuesday, destroying farm buildings and clashing with Syrian rebels who had taken refuge there, residents and local security sources said.