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January 25, 2022

Assad’s sister defects, report says

Bushra Assad, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s sister, has fled Syria with her children, Al-Arabiya reported Tuesday.Bushra’s husband Assef Shawqat, who was the deputy chief of staff of the Syrian Armed Forces, was killed by opposition forces in Damascus on July 18. It should be noted that several weeks ago, Al-Arabiya reported that Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa had defected to Jordan, a report that was later revealed as untrue. Earlier this week, opposition website www.All4Syria.info reported that Bushra, 51, had left Syria to Dubai, where she enrolled her children at school. The report said that Bushra had previously lived in the UAE during a brief rift with her brother, Bashar. Pro-Syrian Lebanese Arabic daily Ad-Diyar also reported that Bushara, a trained pharmacist, was planning to travel to Dubai but did not mention whether she intends to make it her new home.In another development, a helicopter has crashed near the Syrian capital, Damascus, Syrian state television has said. The helicopter was said to have crashed close to Douma, a suburb east of Damascus.At the end of August, rebels said they shot down a helicopter on the outskirts of Damascus. The government has increasingly been using helicopters and other aircraft in its fight against the rebellion which started last year. Rebel fighters have said they shot down the helicopter, says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based opposition activist group.

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