(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
Chris Williams and Jason Hanna, CNN
Kareem Khadder, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com