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situation report

Nov 9, 2012 | 12:25 GMT

Syria: Activists Forwarding Rumors That Al Assad Left Damascus

There are rumors that Syrian President Bashar al Assad and his family abandoned the Republican Palace in central Damascus early Nov. 8 and left to an unknown destination after the rebel Free Syrian Army hit the palace with several mortars, Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported Nov. 9. Activists said that Republican Guards on Nov. 8 closed the street linking the Al-Tilyani and Abu-Rummanah areas and deployed a substantial troop presence to secure al Assad's evacuation, along with that of several senior officials. According to the activists, the lights at the Republican Palace were turned off for the first time since 1973 after rebels targeted it with mortars.

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