After Syrian rebels bombed a high level security meeting in the capital Damascus Wednesday, rumors were swirling that the Syrian leader Bashar al Assad was injured or missing.
But early Thursday, Syrian state TV showed Assad alongside his newly appointed defense minister, replacing the minister killed Wednesday in the bombing.
In New York, the UN Security Council failed in its effort to impose new sanctions after Russia and China vetoed the resolution. The British ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant condemned the move, saying, "Russia and China are failing in their responsibilities as permanent members of the security council to help end the crisis in Syria."
Today's UN vote left in limbo the question of UN monitors, whose mandate expires Friday.
Middle East watchers in Washington, London, Beirut and elsewhere are trying to puzzle through what the endgame might be. After Assad, what next?
NPR's Deborah Amos joins the show to discuss the future of Syria.
Deborah Amos, NPR correspondent in Middle East