Update - 5:10 p.m.: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has yet to address his nation in the wake of Wednesday’s bold bombing attack that killed three of his top aides in Damascus.
Assad did make an appearance on Syrian television late Thursday, his first since the attack, to swear in Fahd al-Freij as the nation’s new defense minister, according to the Post’s Liz Sly. In the footage, Assad appears to be in the presidential palace, according to the Guardian, although it is unclear when the video clip was filmed.
As of Thursday morning, the whereabouts of the embattled Syrian president remained unclear to outside observers.
Reuters reported that “opposition sources” and a Western diplomat believed Assad to be in the resort town of Latakia, Syria’s principal port on the Mediterranean coast and heartland of Assad’s minority Alawite sect.
If he is in Latakia, it’s not clear whether Assad traveled there before or after Wednesday’s bombing.
According to the Post’s Liz Sly, it’s traditional for Syrians (and Lebanese) to travel to their summer homes during July and August, making it possible he was in Latakia on vacation prior to Wednesday’s events.
It’s not uncommon for Assad to stay out of the public eye. His appearance on Syrian television was his first since Wednesday’s bombing of his National Security building in Damascus, which killed his brother-in-law Asef Shawkat, defense minister Dawoud Rajha and vice presidential aide Gen. Hassan Turkmani.
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