The Syrian Presidential Palace Strengthens its Concentration of Power: The Rift Makhlouf-Assad

Two videos released by Rami Makhlouf at the end of April and the beginning of May 2020 have resonated like an earthquake in Syria by revealing a public rift with the Presidential Palace. Tensions have been mounting between Rami Makhlouf and Bashar Al-Assad’s clan since at least the summer of 2019.

The rift follows an offensive by Assad’s clan, the dominant actors in the centre of power, to concentrate all power in the hands of the Presidential Palace, including in the economic field, which was the traditional realm of Makhlouf prior to the war.

This campaign is accompanied by economic competition over the remaining sources of rent.

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