Syrian state TV shows pictures claiming to be the president, amid reports rebels are in control of at least two border crossings.
First Images Of Assad Broadcast
Unverified footage that is said to show Syrian rebel fighters taking over a border crossing with Turkey.
The high-profile bombing, which targeted a meeting of Assad’s security chiefs in the capital, also killed his brother-in-law Assef Shawkat and General Hassan Turkmani, head of the regime’s crisis team on the 16-month uprising.
The fresh pictures of Assad come as rebels take over the Abu Kamal border crossings with Iraq and the crossing with Turkey at Jarablus Falls, where government forces have pulled out.
Unconfirmed reports also say more border crossings with Iraq have also fallen to the rebels.
Earlier, unverified footage showed rebels tearing down a poster of Assad at the border crossing believed to be with Turkey.
Sky’s Foreign Affairs Editor Tim Marshall said: “It is a significant development… If a country’s leader no longer controls the passage in and out of his country, then you are in a different phase.”
Meanwhile, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says regime troops have stormed a Damascus district with tanks for the first time – five days on from the outbreak of fierce clashes in the capital.
“The army stormed the Qaboon district with a large number of tanks,” said Rami Abdel Rahman from the NGO.
“This is the first time that tanks enter a Damascus district.”
The army’s move stoked fears of an imminent massacre in the western quarter of the capital, scene of clashes over the past five days, the monitoring group said.
The White House says the United States has made it clear to the Syrian government that it will be held accountable if it uses chemical weapons against the opposition.
About 20,000 Syrians have travelled across the main border crossing into Lebanon over the past 24 hours, a Lebanese security source working at the border has told Reuters.
Violence has killed at least 107 people across Syria and forced hundreds of Damascus residents to flee their homes for safer neighbourhoods, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Fighting has engulfed the capital since the rebel Free Syrian Army announced on Monday the launch of Operation Damascus Volcano “in response to massacres and barbaric crimes” committed by the president’s regime.
Syrian state television earlier warned its citizens that gunmen were planning to attack people in the capital using military uniforms as disguises.
It said: “Armed men in Tadamon, Midan, Qaa and Nahr Aisha (neighbourhoods of Damascus) are wearing military uniforms with the insignia of the Republican Guard.
“This confirms they are planning to commit crimes and attack people, exploiting the trust of citizens in our courageous armed forces.”
And British Prime Minister David Cameron earlier called on Assad to step down following the escalation of violence.
He said it is time for the Syrian leader “to go”, saying that otherwise civil war is inevitable.
And a spokesman for the opposition Syrian National Council said Wednesday’s attack marked “the beginning of the end of the regime”, calling it a “major blow to (Assad) and the regime’s repressive security apparatus”.
One Syrian security official said the bombing that killed three top Assad aides was carried out by a bodyguard of one of the ministers or security chiefs at the meeting and the attacker had been wearing an explosives belt.
Another official said the blast was caused by a briefcase packed with explosives that a bodyguard left in the meeting room and detonated from a distance via remote control.
State media initially said it was a “suicide bombing” before apparently retracting and calling it a “terrorist attack”. SOURCE