President Bashar al-Assad says Syria will hold a referendum on a new constitution on Feb. 26, but even as he made this seeming concession, his forces increased their bombardment of opposition towns. Assad had said in January that the referendum would take place in March, but it's unclear how anyone could vote amid the worsening crackdown. The shelling of Homs is now in its 13th day, and regime forces raided Hama, firing on residential neighborhoods with anti-aircraft guns. Assad's forces even raided neighborhoods in Damascus. France is negotiating a new U.N. resolution that would create humanitarian corridors to aid civilians caught up in the violence.
PROMISES Reuters / Landov