The American Financial Times said that “a long-standing disagreement” with the wife of Syrian President Asma al-Assad may be behind the “spread of dirty family washing” that was recently carried out by the president’s cousin and Syrian billionaire Rami Makhlouf.
Almost a week ago, Makhlouf directed an sympathy to Syrian President Bashar, in which he said that “the Syrian state imposed large amounts of” 130 billion Syrian pounds, on his company, “Syriatel” communications.
Makhlouf accused parties in the president’s inner circle of the responsibility for “targeting his companies and employees.”
According to the Financial Times, the names of Assad are one of these parties, especially after “years of tensions between them and Makhlouf,” according to the newspaper.
Two days after the first video, Makhlouf appeared in a second video talking about “the dangers threatening his existence, work and continuity”, and recalls his support for the Syrian security services, which he was “the biggest supporter of”.
Damascus’s response to Makhlouf’s video came indirectly, through a statement issued by the Telecommunications and Postal Regulatory Authority published by the official “SANA” agency, confirming that the amounts required to be paid by cellular companies are amounts due to the state according to clear and existing documents.
Makhlouf said, “Did anyone expect the security services to come to the companies of Rami Makhlouf, who was the biggest supporter of these agencies?”
According to insiders who spoke to the Financial Times, “Although Hafez al-Assad’s brother, Bashar’s father, attempted the coup in 1984, the ruling family in Syria had never published its dirty laundry publicly in this way before.”
“Resorting to Facebook shows that Makhlouf’s direct lines of communication with Bashar al-Assad have been severed,” she added.
For years, Makhlouf was considered one of Assad’s closest associates, and a member of the president in the first episode of the Syrian regime, but the video “revealed tensions within the first episode at a time when the cake shrinks, competition increases and accusations are exchanged more sharply,” according to the newspaper.
Researchers consider that the businessman listed on the US sanctions list, Rami Makhlouf, who appeared in two controversial videos after a financial dispute with the Damascus government, has become a “serious” challenge for his cousin, the president of the regime, Bashar al-Assad.
A report by the Middle East Research Institute referred to the accusations and pressures faced by Makhlouf and his companies during the last period, including the regime’s acquisition of the “Al-Bustan” charitable association, which is believed to have been the first lady, Asma al-Assad.
Makhlouf’s supporters spared no effort to press charges against her when a relative of his described her family as “neo-Ottomans” in a sectarian reference to her Sunni identity.
Firas al-Assad, son of Refaat al-Assad, the uncle of the Syrian president, considered that the conflict is not related primarily to the internal circle as it is directly related to the president. “Rami Makhlouf knows very well that his problem is not with the first lady but with the president himself,” he wrote on Facebook.