Damascus: President Bashar al-Assad’s wife, Asma, is rumoured to have fled to Russia after a rebel attack in Damascus, which killed three leaders of the regime, including Assad’s brother-in-law.
According to the New York Daily News, Assad is believed to be in the coastal Syrian city of Latakia from where he is directing pro-government forces.
“Our information is that he is at his palace in Latakia, and that he may have been there for days,” a senior opposition figure, who declined to be named, said.
The whereabouts of Assad and his family were not known after the rebel attack.
Although Assad does not appear in public frequently, his absence was notable following such a serious blow to his inner circle.
Thousands of Syrians streamed across the Syrian border into Lebanon, fleeing as fighting in the capital entered its fifth straight day, witnesses said.
Major General Robert Mood, the Norwegian head of nearly 300 unarmed UN observers in Syria, condemned the violence and encouraged a diplomatic solution, which now appears increasingly out of reach.