AMMAN - Syrian President Bashar Assad is in the coastal city of Latakia, directing a response to the assassination of three of his top lieutenants, opposition sources and a Western diplomat said on Thursday.

Assad, who has not made a public appearance since Wednesday's bombing, which killed his brother-in-law and two other key military figures, was commanding the government operation, they said. It was not clear whether Assad traveled to the Mediterranean sea resort before or after the attack.

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