Media in Middle East are speculating that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may have fled his country, following the spectacular killings of three of his senior ministers, including his own brother-in-law.

The rumors were sparked by a report from Al-Arabiya TV that Assad’s plane was seen departing the Damascus airport carrying unidentified passengers.

Al-Arabiya tweeted that an activist named al-Qurabi noted that plane was heading towards the Syrian city of Latakia.

Syrian opposition groups, who took credit for the blasts that killed top government officials, are declaring a turning point in the 17-month-old conflict against Assad.

Today is a turning point in Syria's history,” the chief of the Syrian National Council, Abdelbasset Seida, told Reuters.

The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the death of Assef Shawkat, Assad’s brother-in-law death marked a significant, “perhaps, final” blow to the regime.