It's been 4 days after reports of the assassination or wounding of Syrian leader Basher al-Assad swept the world.
The normal course of events in these matters if the attempt was a failure is for the strong man to make a public speech or appearance in a day or so to show that he's still in control.
The only thing we've heard from Assad is a letter that could have been written by anyone addressed to the upcoming BRIC Forum (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) - to "work for an immediate cessation of violence that would guarantee the success of the political solution" of the Syrian civil war.
"This requires a clear international will to dry up the sources of terrorism and stop its funding and arming," Assad said in the letter, which was carried by Syrian state media on Wednesday.
Assad said Syria is subjected to "acts of terrorism backed by Arab, regional and Western nations" - a reference to the Western-backed opposition fighting his regime.
While it is highly ironic to see the likes of Basher Assad complaining about terrorism, the fact remains that in this particular case, he - or whomever wrote the letter - is entirely correct.
What I've found out from my sources thus far doesn't change my opinion that at the least, Assad was wounded and is now recovering. We know at this point that after reports of the assassination, Assad was spirited off last Sunday to Shami Hospital in Damascus, that all roads to the hospital were blocked, and that the Syrian TV studios were evacuated and emptied.
If Assad wasn't killed or injured, the normal procedure would be for him to make a live or at least a television appearance by this time.He hasn't.
If he was killed, the other top members of the regime are using this time to plunder what's left and get out of the country. If he was wounded (the more likely scenario, I think) they're keeping things quiet until he can be patched up enough to make an appearance.