In the latest sign of a new dispute among the ruling families, the director of the Damascus branch of the General Intelligence Department, Hafez Makhlouf, has removed the picture of President Bashar al-Assad from his Facebook and WhatApp accounts' profile profiles.
Sources from Damascus said Makhlouf applied for the Russian visa to join his father, Muhammad Makhlouf (also known as Mr 10%), who lives there with other family members and invests billions of dollars. However the Russians refused to give him the visa, so he chose Belorussia instead.
The source continued that the regime has made some changes after the dismissal of Hafez Makhlouf, and that these changes aim at reducing the domination of the General Intelligence and increasing the domination of Republican Guards in the common military locations.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer