Syrian authorities have taken the rare step of denying media reports of an attack on President Bashar al-Assad’s motorcade as he traveled to a mosque on Thursday to attend prayersmarking a Muslim holiday.
It was the first report of a direct attack on Assad’s convoy since the beginning of the conflict in March 2011.
Several media outlets, including the Saudi-based Al-Arabiya satellite channel, as well asactivists on the ground, had said that a rocket attack targeted Assad’s motorcade as he traveled to the Anas bin Malik mosque in central Damascus to join the Eid al-Fitr prayers that celebrate the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
“Regarding the information reported by Al-Arabiya, I can assure you that it is completely false,”Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi told state television.
“The president arrived at the mosque driving his own car, he attended the prayer and greet edeveryone in the mosque, as he does every day when he meets people,” Zohbi added.