Sunday, July 22, 2012

Israel: Assad still in Damascus and retains army's loyalty

Maan News Agency

Published today 19:06
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- President Bashar Assad is still in the Syrian capital Damascus and retains the loyalty of his armed forces in the face of an advancing rebellion, the Israeli military said Sunday.

There have been doubts about Assad's location since a bomb on Wednesday killed four members of his high command in Damascus. Assad has not spoken in public since and state TV has shown only footage of him swearing in a new defense minister.

"The (Syrian) military is still loyal to Assad, despite a very big wave of defections, and he and his family are still in Damascus," Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai, chief spokesman for Israel's armed forces, said in an Israeli television interview.