Assad seen on TV after Free Syrian Army claims they targeted his convoy
Not dead yet: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (L) and Syrian Grand Mufti Ahmed Hassun attend the morning prayer of Eid al-Fitr in Damascus on Thursday shortly after the FSA claimed to have attacked his convoy. (AFP)
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Syrian TV aired footage of President Bashar Assad praying in a mosque in Damascus following rebel reports of an attack on his motorcade.
Al-Sham Liberation Brigade and the Free Syrian Army announced their fighters targeted Assad’s motorcade with mortar shells on its way to the mosque.
Syrian Information Minister Omran Zohbi denied the reports.
"These reports are totally false," Zohbi told Syrian television.
He said Assad was driving the car himself to the mosque.
"He [Assad] attended the prayer and greeted people," Zohbi added.
Al-Arabiya had quoted the Brigade’s commander Capt. Firas Bitar saying that his group targeted Assad’s motorcade with 17 mortar rounds.
Bitar said the attack was planned after they received information about the path of the convoy.
Al-Arabiya also quoted Omar Hamzeh, the spokesman for the Revolutionary Command Council, saying that the FSA hit Assad’s motorcade, but that they have no word on his fate.
Hamzeh raised suspicion over the authenticity of the TV footage, saying it was broadcast more than an hour after prayer time ended in Syria.
“This means there is a possibility that this is an old prayer,” Hamzeh said.
Following the rebel claims, Syria’s state TV showed footage of a suited Assad praying next to Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun for the Eid Al Fitr prayers in Damascus.
The Syrian television said the prayer was performed at Anas bin Malek Mosque in the Malki district, where Assad lives.
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