Assad Brother Seen in Facebook Picture After Two-year Absence

Maher Assad, commander of the Syrian army's elite Fourth Division, was reportedly badly wounded in a 2012 bombing.


Syrian President Bashar Assad's brother, rumored to have been seriously wounded in a bombing two years ago, has reemerged in a picture uploaded online.

Maher Assad is seen with brother Bashar and Beirut-based Syrian singer George Wassouf, who visited Damascus recently and uploaded the picture to his Facebook page, AFP reported.

Maher is wearing a navy blue T-shirt and jeans in the picture and appears to be relaxed.

Maher was reported to have lost both legs when a bomb struck a senior command center in Damascus in July 2012.

Official sources denied that Maher had been present at the time of the bombing, which killed defense minister General Daoud Rajha, Assad's brother-in-law Assef Shawkat and General Hassan Turkmani.

However, a palace official who defected last year said that he had seen Maher return from Russia, where he had been treated for his injuries. The defector, a press officer named Abdullah al-Omar, said Assad had lost his left leg and the use of his left arm.

Maher continues to command the army’s elite Fourth Division, but has not been seen in public since the attack.