Hafez Makhlouf, cousin of Bashar al-Asad and until recentlyhead of the General Security Directorate's Damascus branch, has now been reported as having moved to Belarus. Besides being a maternal cousin of the President, he is also the brother of Rami Makhlouf, who, as I mentioned the other day, is the richest man in Syria and the moneyman for the regime.
Earlier this month, after reports that Hafez Makhlouf had been fired from his security job circulated, regime sources reported that he had not been fired but promoted from colonel to general, and was in line for a new job. The move to Belarus would suggest that was not the case. Is there dissent within the extended Asad/Makhlouf families? [view whole blog post ]