Assad's mother defects
Al-Arabiya is reporting that Syrian President Bashar Assad's mother has defected. She joined her daughter Bushra in the UAE, who had left the country last fall.
President Bashar al-Assad's mother Anisa Makhlouf and other members of his inner circle have fled to the United Arab Emirates as the regime of the embattled president appeared to disintegrate, recent reports confirmed.
Anisa has joined her daughter, Bushra, who had previously fled to Dubai, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat quoted Robert Ford, U.S. ambassador to Syria until the break of the relations between the two countries.
Anisa, the widow of late president Hafez al-Assad, is believed to be in her late seventies.
Her daughter Bushra fled Syria with her children following the killing of her husband Assef Shawkat who was the deputy Minister of Defense of Syria. He was killed in a targeted operation by opposition forces in July 2012.
Ford was also quoted by CNN earlier this week as saying: "Members of the regime, little by little, are flaking off." "They themselves know they are losing," he added, stressing that Anisa's latest escape to UAE was a sign that Assad's regime was crumbling.
Syrian residents in the Gulf emirate said Bushra had enrolled her five children at a private school in Dubai where she had moved in September.
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.
Writing on the wall? Perhaps. Assad's army, however, isn't running out of ammunition and still posseses considerable assets, including air power and armor. The rebels' progress is slow and counterattacks by Assad's forces prove effective at times.
But the slow wearing away of the regime is continuing, as is the disintegration of Syria as a viable state. Eventually, Assad may flee because there is nothing much left to rule.