The US Department of State issued a highly anticipated report to Congress on the estimated net worth and known sources of income of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his family, estimated at between $1-2 billion.
The report examines the finances of Bashar Assad and his wife Asma, Bashar’s brother Maher and sister Bushra, Bashar’s cousins Rami and Ihab Makhlouf, and Bashar’s uncle Rifaat Assad.
The State Department did not have sufficient information on the net worth of Bashar Assad’s three children, Hafez, Zayn, and Karim, which could generate criticism in Congress.
The report is binding to the administration after Congress passed a law asking it to be submitted periodically.
“Estimates based on open-source information generally put the Assad family net worth at between $1-2 billion, but this is an inexact estimate which the Department is unable to independently corroborate,” read the report.
The Department claimed that it was difficult to accurately estimate the net worth of Assad and his extended family members because family assets are believed to “be spread out and concealed in numerous accounts, real estate portfolios, corporations, and offshore tax havens.”
The report argues that “any assets located outside of Syria and not seized or blocked are likely held under false names or by other individuals, to obscure ownership and evade sanctions.”
Meanwhile, the Syrian President appointed Major General Ali Abbas as the new Defense Minister, succeeding General Ali Ayoub, in the fifth change to this position since 2011.
Ayoub, former army chief of staff, was appointed by Assad in 2018.
It is not unusual to change senior officials in high ministerial positions in Syria.