What is behind Rami Makhlouf’s Media Appearance?

What is behind Rami Makhlouf’s Media Appearance?

In Focus: What is behind Rami Makhlouf’s Media Appearance?
Rami Makhlouf’s, one of the most prominent economic figures in the Syrian regime, frequent media appearances have sparked a wave of speculation about the implications about his speeches, the timing and the consequences.
Based on the Syrian regime’s composition and the current circumstances including the multiplicity of international actors influencing the course of events, the following are the major possibilities to help understand the implications of recent events:
1- Conflict within the circle surrounding Bashar al-Assad: In his speech addressed to the head of the regime, Makhlouf focused on a “third party” that seeks to destroy the structural compatibility.
Makhlouf suggested that there is a struggle between the businessmen in Bashar al-Assad’s circle and Asma al-Akhras, al-Assad’s wife, and the most prominent candidate within the regime to fight the battle against old money.
An indicator of this conflict is that Asmaa, through Emma Tel, has become a rival for Makhlouf for the leadership of the telecommunications sectors which Makhlouf has been occupying for twenty years.
Some of the information suggesting the existence of a conflict suggests that Makhlouf provides the Russian media with details about al-Assad and his wife’s behaviors including information that al-Assad purchased a gift estimated at 30 million US Dollars for his wife.
Another indicator that emerges in Makhlouf’s records is the decline in cohesiveness among the major partners at the regime’s table, and this indicator has unavoidable effects and consequences. It also reflects a dispute at the level of family and sect with each partner holding different levels of influence and support at home and abroad.
2- Russian role: It is possible that Russia actors are indirectly behind the recent crisis between Makhlouf and the al-Assad regime through Moscow exercising pressure on al-Assad to collect dues and tax from the figures that have played a fundamental role in the regime’s economic domination. Russia’s goal is to locate means to self-finance the war effort and reactivate facilities, or Russia wants to remove these figures from the forefront as part of the process to recycle the Syrian regime based on the Russian framework for the political process and as a means to convince the international community of reforms in Syria. The situation necessitated a reaction from Makhlouf given his prominent position as the regime and al-Assad family’s source of capital as well as due to the popularity he has gained within the Alawite community which he has worked to gain sympathy from during his second appearance. 
3- Al-Assad sacrificing Makhlouf: It is possible that the current conflict is the result of al-Assad’s desire to collect funds to pay some of the dues owed to Russian and to revive the economy, that has entered the most dangerous situation, as well as al-Assad’s desire for his wife to play a pivotal role in the economic process by benefiting from her western connections.
Regarding the future of the internal crisis that is currently ravaging the Syrian regime, one of the following scenarios can be expected:
1- The conflict may extend to the Alawite sect due to Makhlouf’s popularity as a result of his expenditures on the war-injured and the poor within the community over the years through the al-Bustan Charitable Society and other associations, as well as the Makhlouf family’s influence generally in the security services.
2- One possible scenario is that al-Assad may end Makhlouf’s influence without exacerbating the crisis and its expansion to within the sect or security institutions. Sacrificing Makhlouf may be due to al-Assad’s desire or due to him favoring his wife in the ongoing conflict with his cousin. This scenario bears similarity to the events that occurred with Rifaat al-Assad previously, who was more influential and effective than Makhlouf. 
Unit of Analysis and Thinking - Jusoor for Studies
To visit the English Telegram channel: Click here

Share this Post

Why did Emirati FM again fly to Damascus?
In focus

An Emirati delegation headed by the United Arab Emirates foreign minister, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Al Nahyan on January 4, 2023 made a visit to the Syrian capital, Damascus, and met the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar al -Assad. This visit is the second to Syria after the return of diplomatic relations between the two parties late 2018.

Syria during 2022
Analytical Report

An analytical report released by the Jusoor Center for Studies monitors the various stages that the Syrian issue went through during 2022, politically, militarily and economically. The report addresses the political process, the movements of the Astana track, the UN Security Council meetings on Syria, the policies of international actors, and others.

The Israeli strikes in Syria during 2022

In 2013, Israel started launching air strikes on Syria, which fall within the strategy of the "Campaign between Wars (CBW)"; where it considers it necessary to weaken the capabilities of the enemy (Iran and its militias or military units) and respond to threats outside the borders.

Russia and restructuring the Syrian regime forces: Obstacles and alternatives

The Syrian regime attached great importance to the army. It took the slogan “No sound is louder than the battle's one” as an instrument for harnessing all the material and human capabilities to serve the effectiveness of the army's operations in order to maintain its control over the country's areas. The regime also works hard to take advantage of the above-mentioned slogan to serve its regional a