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Where is Bashar al-Assad?

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.

To all those who said #Assad fled, here’s the new defence minister swearing the oath infront of #Syria’s president.…

— Joud(@Hey_Joud) July 19, 2012

Earlier today:

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.

Timeline: Major events in Syria's tumultuous uprising.

Following yesterday’s attack, the location of Bashar al-Assad remains uncertain. (Ramzi Haidar/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

See more coverage of the violence in Syria below:

View Photo Gallery: Rebels carry out a deadly attack against advisers to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

More Syria news coverage:

- Violence escalates in Damascus

- Who were the officials killed in the Damascus bombing?

- Who’s who in Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle?

- Read more headlines from around the world

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