There is speculation that the brother of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria may have lost a leg in a bomb attack on the security cabinet a month ago.
Four members of the president's inner circle were killed in the attack on a meeting of security chiefs in Damascus on 18 July.
Now western and Gulf sources say Maher al-Assad, the commander of the Republican Guard and 4th Division, was also in the room and was seriously wounded.
He has not been seen publicly since the attack.
The government has denied that Mr Assad's brother was injured.