First Published: 2013-01-20

 

Assad's mother joins her daughter in Dubai

 

Analysts consider Makhluf's departure from Syria as another indication of Assad losing support even from within his family.

 

Middle East Online

Assad’s right-hand still in Syria

DUBAI - Anisa Makhluf, the mother of President Bashar al-Assad, has left the war-torn country and joined her daughter in Dubai, Syrian expatriates in the United Arab Emirates and an activist said on Sunday.

Makhluf has been living next to her daughter, Bushra, the only sister of Assad, in Dubai since around 10 days, Syrian expatriates said.

Bushra's husband General Assef Shawkat, an army deputy chief of staff, was killed along with three other high-ranking Syrian officials in a July 18 bombing at the National Security headquarters in Damascus.

In September, Syrian residents in the Gulf emirate said that Bushra had enrolled her five children at a private school in Dubai where she had moved.

Makhluf's "departure from Syria is another indication of Assad losing support even from within his family," said Ayman Abdel Nour, head of the newly-formed group Syrian Christians for Democracy and editor-in-chief of opposition news website all4syria.com.

Analysts say that Assad is increasingly relying on the tightly-knit circle surrounding him, which includes Maher, his only brother still alive and who commands the army's notorious Fourth Brigade.

Assad's two other brothers Bassel and Majd are dead. The embattled president also relies on relatives from his mother's side, analysts say.

A large number of businessmen and wealthy Syrians who had close ties with the regime have fled the deadly bloodshed in Syria to Dubai in the past few months.

More than 60,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria's 22-month conflict, according to the United Nations.

The conflict has sent some 600,000 people fleeing the country, most of them to neighbouring countries, according to the world body.

 

Iraq operation to liberate Anbar faces barrage of criticism

Coalition raids target headquarters of rebel troops in Yemen capital

Libya PM survives assassination attempt

EU calls for resumption of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks

Arrest of several FIFA leaders as part of twin corruption inquiry

Fast pace of executions in Saudi Arabia 'very disturbing'

Tunisia begins hearings into ex-regime's rights abuses

‘Islamic State’ executes 20 men in ruins of Syria ancient city

Saudi Arabia announces sanctions against two Hezbollah leaders

Libya to fight aggression with 'strength'

Iran says nuclear talks could go beyond deadline

Hamas accused of committing war crimes against civilians

German court rejects Yemenis' case over US drone killings

Kuwait emir urges Muslim states to fight extremism

NY Times journalist has Turkish citizenship revoked

Military site inspections necessary to Iran deal

Iraqi forces on outskirts of Ramadi

Syrian refugees ignored at Turkey poll campaign

Director 'shocked' at Morocco’s prostitution film ban

US criticises Shiite name of Iraqi military operation

Israel warplanes strike Gaza after rocket attack

Pro-government fighters retake Yemen city from Shiite rebels

Libya militias trap civilians in Benghazi

EU border agency plans to expand migrant rescue operation

Syria state TV blames ‘foreign enemies’ for signal jamming

Palestinians and jihadists clash in Yarmouk

Iraq refugees forced back into conflict zones

Kuwait restores Islamist lawmaker's citizenship

Washington Post reporter goes on trial behind closed doors in Iran

Iraq launches operation to drive ‘Islamic State’ from Anbar

New airport in restive eastern Turkey

Iran ‘thwarts’ US cyber attack on Oil Ministry’

Egypt opens border crossing with Gaza for 48 hours

Litany of problems keep Iraqi army weak and ineffective

Rouhani: most Iranians favour peace

Iran Foreign Minister discusses Yemen conflict in neutral Oman

Palestinians dismiss Netanyahu initiative

Three Moroccans jailed for homosexuality

Oxfam: 16 million Yemenis have no access to clean water

US, Iraq at loggerheads over Ramadi

Soldier kills comrades in Tunisia barracks shooting

Netanyahu names rightist ally as new Foreign Ministry chief

Iraq rejects US criticism of security forces over defeat in Ramadi

Hezbollah captures hilltops from Qaeda wing in Syria

Saudi Shiites hold mass funeral for victims of mosque bombing