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President Assad Makes First Public Appearance Since July 4


Syria's President Bashar al-Assad

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad

Syrian President Basher al-Assad has appeared at a mosque to mark the end of Ramadan -- his first public appearance since a bomb attack on July 18 killed four of his key defense officials.

Syrian state television on August 19 showed footage of Assad performing prayers to mark Eid al-Fitr at the al-Hammad Mosque in Damascus.

Assad's last public appearance was on July 4 when he made a speech to parliament.

Although Assad was accompanied by senior officials in his regime on August 19, they did not include his deputy Farouk al-Sharaa.

According to some reports, Sharaa has defected to the opposition, although Sharaa's office has denied those reports.

Meanwhile, reports from the Syrian city of Aleppo said fighting was continuing between regime forces and opposition fighters.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa
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