Cousin of Syria VP defects, not VP: Report

Bashar Al Assad brother lost leg in attack

A cousin of Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Shara has defected, Al-Arabiya television reported on Thursday, broadcasting a statement in which he called on members of the Syrian army to join the "revolution".

 "The cousin of the Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Shara announces his defection in an exclusive recording via Al-Arabiya," the news anchor read after the broadcast. It identified the speaker as Yarab al-Shara.

 During the broadcast Al Arabiya had scrolled a headline bar declaring that "Shara" had defected.

Syria president's brother lost leg in attack

The brother of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad lost one leg in an attack on the country's security cabinet in Damascus in July, a Western diplomat and a Gulf-based source said on Thursday.

 "We heard that he (Maher al-Assad) lost one of his legs during the explosion, but don't know anymore," the diplomat told Reuters.

 A Gulf source confirmed the report: "He lost one of his legs. The news is true."

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