Syrian president's sister 'now in Dubai'
DUBAI - Agence France-Presse
AFP PhotoEmbattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's only sister, Bushra, whose husband was killed in a July bombing, is now living in Dubai with her children, Syrian residents told AFP on Sunday.
Bushra's husband General Assef Shawkat, an army deputy chief of staff, was killed along with three other high-ranking officials in a July 18 bombing at the National Security headquarters in Damascus.
The president's elder sister, a pharmacist in her 50s, has five children she has enrolled at a private school in Dubai, according to Syrian expatriates in the emirate.
Ayman Abdel Nour, editor-in-chief of opposition news website all4syria.com, told AFP that Bushra, who did not hold any position in the Syrian regime, left after "differences" with her brother whose troops are locked in a deadly conflict with rebels.
Bashar has "accused her of being closer to the opposition because she did not entirely agree with his policies," Abdel Nour said.
With Bushra's departure, Assad now has only his brother Maher, who commands the notorious Fourth Brigade, in the country.
Two other brothers, Bassel and Majd, are dead.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 29,000 people have been killed since the revolt against Assad's rule erupted in March last year. The United Nations puts the toll at more than 20,000.