As the world waits for Syria to end its crackdown, government forces shelled the city of Homs, killing dozens. The attack comes on the eve of a visit by a Russian foreign minister who will reportedly seek to convince Assad to end his assault. Earlier, in the face of growing violence, the U.S. closed its embassy in Damascus, pulling 17 employees out of the nation. The government “is getting stretched beyond its ability to control the various elements of violence in the country,” a senior official told CNN. Meanwhile, President Obama, in appearance on NBC’s Today show, ruled out military intervention in Syria, but said his administration has been “relentless” in pushing President Bashar al-Assad to step down.