Bashar al-Assad's widowed sister has left Syria for UAE - source

ABU DHABI Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:38am IST

File photo of Bashar al-Assad (C), his younger brother Maher (L) and sister Bushra walking behind the coffin of their father the late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad at the start of the state funeral in Damascus June 13. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

File photo of Bashar al-Assad (C), his younger brother Maher (L) and sister Bushra walking behind the coffin of their father the late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad at the start of the state funeral in Damascus June 13.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer/Files

Related Topics

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's widowed sister Bushra has left Syria and is living in the United Arab Emirates, a source close to the UAE government said on Thursday.

Bushra al-Assad, Bashar's older sister, was married to Assef Shawkat, the former deputy defence minister who was killed along with other senior officials in a bomb attack in Damascus on July 18.

"Bushra al-Assad is a frequent visitor to the UAE. She comes here for personal and humanitarian reasons. She is currently in the UAE, on one of these visits, and has been here for some time," the source said.

Lebanese and Gulf officials also confirmed that Bushra had come to the United Arab Emirates with her five children following her husband's death.

Forces loyal to President Assad are fighting to try to quell an 18-month-old uprising against his family's rule in which activists say up to 30,000 people have been killed.

Shawkat was a pillar of the Assad regime and its tight, clan-based ruling elite. He was one of his brother-in-law's top commanders, though he stayed largely behind the scenes, and was seen as pushing for a ruthless approach towards the rebellion.

After years as deputy head and then chief of military intelligence, he had become deputy defence minister by the time he was killed, another position that allowed him to wield power out of the limelight.

(Reporting by Raissa Kasolowsky in Abu Dhabi and Amena Bakr in New York; Editing by Sami Aboudi and Andrew Osborn)

FILED UNDER:

Ferguson Unrest

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Nifty Above 8,600

Nifty Above 8,600

Nifty hits record high above 8,600; state-run lenders gain  Full Article 

Indian in Iraq

Indian in Iraq

India says no contact with 39 men held by Islamic State in Iraq.  Full Article 

Sahara Issue

Sahara Issue

Sahara looks to raise $650 million loan to fund bail.  Full Article 

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal's toxic legacy lives on, 30 years after industrial disaster.  Full Article 

Essar Group

Essar Group

Exclusive - Essar's planned oil-for-steel deal tests Iran sanctions  Full Article 

Islamic Fund

Islamic Fund

India gets new Islamic equity fund but debt market still off-limits  Full Article 

Fiscal Deficit

Fiscal Deficit

April-October fiscal deficit nears 90 pct of full-year target  Full Article 

Oil Prices

Oil Prices

Oil hits new four-year low post OPEC as glut looms  Full Article 

Gold Imports

Gold Imports

India eases gold import rule in surprise move.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage