A leading figure in the Syrian opposition has revealed that about 25 percent of the members of the Syrian political, military and security leadership and their families have moved to Lebanon and rented homes or bought apartments, especially in Christian areas of Mount Lebanon and in the Druze regions on the coast.
Hundreds of families have also settled in Sunni Beirut, Sidon and Tripoli, while some families have moved to Shiite areas controlled by Hezbollah, but very few.
Displacement of these families has come incrementally, but increased out of fear that the West may resort to its deferred military strike against the regime of Bashar Assad.
About 20 percent of the families of the leaders moved to European countries and the Gulf, especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Bashar Assad's family itself, including his mother and sister, and relatives of ministers of defense and foreign affairs, interior and military leaders and senior security officers are all in the UAE.
The opposition source told Assiasah Syrian newspaper that more than 2000 regime members of the Alawite sect who gained millions of dollars in business deals and military armament in corrupt collaboration with Assad's cousins from the Makhlouf family, have bought homes and other real estate as well as established businesses in Britain, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Cyprus. A number have also transferred their wealth to Russia itself and Eastern European countries that broke away from the Soviet Union and joined the NATO.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer