Bashar Assad's mother leaves Syria

Bashar Assad's mother has left Syria and moved to Dubai, according to unconfirmed reports

by The Commentator on 20 January 2013 23:01

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International news agencies are reporting that Anisa Makhluf, the mother of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has left the country and moved to Dubai.

Syrian expatriates in the United Arab Emirates and an activist said on Sunday that Makhluf has moved to Dubai to live with her daughter, Bushra.

The only sister of Assad is reported as having played host to her mother in Dubai for around 10 days now.

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.

Agence France-Press has stated that 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 civil war, according to the latest figures from 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.

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