BEIRUT: Photographs purporting to show President Bashar Assad’s brother Maher have circulated widely this week on both pro-regime and anti-regime social media sites. The photos show Maher with his guests, Syrian singer George Wassouf and his son, in Damascus. Maher Assad, who holds the rank of general and commands the army’s 4th Division, and is considered by some to be the “No. 2” man in Syria, was reportedly gravely wounded in a rebel bombing attack in 2012, and evidence that he survived the incident has been scarce since. A Lebanese TV personality who hosted Wassouf recently on his show circulated the photos this week. The photos were featured prominently on a number of social media platforms, generating predictably divided sets of comments on pro- and anti-regime sites.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 20, 2014, on page 8.