April 18 - Syrian TV shows President Bashar al-Assad and his wife visiting aid distribution center while reports emerge of anti-rebel attacks elsewhere. Paul Chapman reports.
PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Syrian TV shows President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma at an aid distribution centre in Damascus. The aid being packaged by hundreds of volunteers is intended for people displaced by fighting in the city of Homs, according to the broadcaster. It's a rare appearance by Syria's first lady since the start of the uprising against her husband's leadership a year ago. On Tuesday she was the focus of an online appeal by the wives of British and German U.N ambassadors. It urged her stop her husband's deadly crackdown on protests against his rule that has killed thousands. Video posted on a social media website on April 17 appears to show another side of the coin. The video, which Reuters couldn't independently verify, purports to show the aftermath of further shelling in Homs despite the start of a truce last week. Other social media website video appears to show anti-Assad protests and a military checkpoint in other parts of the country. But international observers sent to monitor the truce said they'd made a successful visit to Deraa where the uprising against Assad began. SOUNDBITE: U.N. COLONEL AHMED HIMMICHE, HEAD OF THE INITIAL U.N. TEAM, SAYING (English): "We can say that we are moving ahead, that the task for us is to liaise with the Syrian forces and also with other parties." Despite such positive reports, the U.N secretary general says the monitors may ultimately need to bring in more troops and their own aircraft, to ensure the ceasefire takes hold throughout Syria. Paul Chapman, Reuters