Assad’s uncle returns to Syria after 37 yrs in exile


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s uncle Rifaat al-Assad has returned to the country after 37 years in exile, a local newspaper reported.

The President has allowed the return of his uncle, who left Syria in 1984 after mounting a failed coup against his brother Hafez al-Assad who ruled Syria from 1971 to 2000, Xinhua news agency quoted the al-Watan newspaper report as saying late Friday.

Saying Rifaat arrived in Syria on Thursday and would serve no political or social position, the al-Watan report said that the his returncame against the backdrop of a verdict by a French court that sentenced him to four years in prison for financial crimes.

Rifaat’s assets, worth $106 million, and his assets in Spain valued at about $804 have all been confiscated over the past few years.