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Syria’s Makhlouf Declares Defeat against Assad, Urges Patience

Syria’s Makhlouf Declares Defeat against Assad, Urges Patience

Monday, 30 November, 2020 - 10:30
Rami Makhlouf.

Business mogul and maternal cousin of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Rami Makhlouf, in a Facebook post on Sunday, showed signs of defeat on his case involving hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid back taxes.

Citing Arabic poetry verses on patience, the owner of Syriatel, the largest mobile phone network in Syria, said that he will remain patient in the face of adversity.

Before, Makhlouf’s last appearance on Facebook was on November 10, when he urged the election of a new board of directors at Syriatel and the fair distribution of profits.

This followed the expiring of a legal deadline on distributing profits among shareholders and disbursing a 7 billion Syrian pound donation to victims of the September wildfires on the Syrian coast.

The distribution of aid packages to some 40,000 designated families was supposed to take place under the supervision of the country’s Social Affairs and Labor Ministry.

No information was released about the response of concerned authorities addressed by Makhlouf. Nevertheless, Makhlouf called for "not depriving" families awaiting his donation.

For more than a month, Makhlouf posted nothing on Facebook. More so, when he broke his silence on Sunday, Makhlouf cited patience as a key tool in facing the challenges dealt by fate.

This was worlds apart with previous statements made by the tycoon that challenged Assad and warned of “divine punishment.”

Makhlouf raised a white flag against what he called the “judgment” of fate, recognizing he was helpless in the face of the measures against him.

Differences between Makhlouf and Assad came out to the public at the end of 2019.

Some of the tycoon’s assets have since been seized by the government and Syriatel was placed under judicial custody. Also, Makhlouf is under a travel ban and government institutions are barred from dealing with him.

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