Bashar al-Assad is rumoured to have suffered a fatal stroke
Social media in the country has been abuzz with claims he had died or was in serious ill-health – a fact disputed by his regime.
Syria's government said in a statement he was in “excellent health and carrying out his functions quite naturally” – despite the fact he has not been seen in public in several days.
Last night one of the country’s veteran television personalities claimed Assad was bedridden.
He Tweeted: “I assure you my sources say that Bashar Assad is bedridden but not unconscious. Severity ratio 70%.”
He said Assad should take it as a sign to “stop slaughtering our people”.
Sources within Assad's regime dismissed the rumours as false – claiming the leader's enemies periodically attempt to create unrest by claiming he has died.
This is a developing story. More to follow…