Habib defected early September, escaping Syria through Turkey, but uncertainty remained which country received him.
Habib, 74, is the highest ranking official among Bashar Assad's minority Alawite sect to have broken with the government in Damascus. However it remains unclear whether he has formally joined the opposition, or if France prefers to" hold him in reserve" for the post-Assad era.
In 2011, Habib resigned, citing "health reasons". But others argued that the defense minister had been removed from power because he disapproved of the use of force by the regime against demonstrations at the beginning of the anti-Assad uprising.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer