Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Shara appeared in public Sunday. This is the first time in a month he appears in public amid intense speculations about an attempted defection.
He was seen shortly before a scheduled meeting in Damascus with Alaeddine Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian Parliamentary Committee for foreign policy.
The fate of Farouk al-Shara had been the subject of intense speculation after the opposition reported Aug. 18 about an attempted defection, which was immediately denied by the official media.
The official news agency SANA said on Saturday that a fake email was sent on behalf of the Foreign Ministry announcing the dismissal of Farouk al-Shara. The former Syrian vice-minister of Petroleum Houssameddine Abdo, who had defected in March, said the vice president was "for some time under house arrest." The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) had talked about an "attempted defection" that "resulted in a failure."
Farouk al-Shara, is most prominent Sunni figure in the Alawite regime. He has served for more than fifteen years as the foreign minister, before becoming Vice President in 2006.
Meanwhile, the Syrian television on Sunday denied the news published by some media outlets, claiming that the intelligence chief of the Syrian Air Force, General Jamil Hassan was murdered. "The information on the assassination of the head of Air military intelligence Jamil Hassan has no connection with reality," the Syrian Al-Dounia television channel reported.
Earlier in the day, Al-Arabiya has reported that General Jamil Hassan was shot by one of his aides. It is interesting to note that last week, Lebanese sources reported that Jamil Hassan died of injuries in a Moscow hospital. No further details on the circumstances of his injuries were reported than.