In the aftermath of the rebel bombing of Syrian government headquarters yesterday, president Bashar al-Assad’s whereabouts have been unconfirmed, with one source claiming the Syrian head of state was wounded in yesterday’s blast, according to a Guardian report.
Al Arabiya TV reported that Assad’s plane left Syria with unknown passengers, sparking suspicions that the Syrian president has fled his nation’s capitol after the attacks that killed three top government officials, including Assef Shawkat, the president’s brother in law and deputy head of armed forces. The bombing also killed Syrian minister of defense Dawoud Rawja, and wounded numerous other officials, in what was labeled by the Guardian as “the single worst loss for the government in 16 months of increasingly bloody struggle.”
Syria has been “rapidly spinning out of control” said US defense secretary Leon Panetta, since the attacks on Syria’s national security headquarters occurred yesterday morning. The Free Syrian Army, the main opposition group to the Assad regime, claimed responsibility for the attacks, which have included reported explosions at the Damascus headquarters of the Syrian army’s 4th division, an elite unit commanded by Assad’s brother.
Wild rumors have been circulating around many details of the insurgency, some claiming the Syrian army is wracked with mass defections, others that the capitol is torn with civilian rampages. Assad’s wife Asma is also rumored to have fled to Russia, though this information has not been confirmed.