(DAMASCUS, Syria) — For nearly a week, there was speculation that another high-ranking member of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Cabinet had flown the coop.
With a number of officials having defected to the rebel cause, mostly by fleeing to neighboring Jordan, talk grew that Vice President Farouk Al-Sharaa had done the same.
Al-Sharaa did not appear with the president a week ago Sunday at a Damascus mosque to celebrate the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, adding more fuel to the rumors since the Cabinet member was last spotted at a funeral on July 18.
Adding to the confusion were claims by the rebels that Al-Sharaa was seen in Jordan to join their side.
Finally, there was an Al-Sharaa sighting on Sunday but it happened in Damascus. His appearance with a senior Iranian official has ended for now any assumptions about who his loyalties are with.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Sugam Pokharel and AJ Willingham, CNN
Ivana Kottasova, CNN