The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Makhlouf Purge | Managers and employees of “Syriatel” and “Al-Bostan Association” arrested

Rami Makhlouf and his brother still free

Reliable sources have informed the Syrian Observatory that the campaign of arrests which targets managers and technicians of Rami Makhlouf’s telecom company “Syriatel” has not only been confined to Damascus and Latakia, but also expanded to Aleppo and Tartus. Regime security services and Russian forces arrested seven managers and technicians in the past few hours (four in Aleppo and three in Tartus).

Meanwhile, regime intelligence services and Russian police have launched new campaign of arrests, targeting managers and employees in “Al-Bostan” Association which is also owned by Rami Makhlouf, the cousin of Syrian regime president Bashar al-Assad. These developments come as a part of Russian attempts to undermine Rami Makhlouf.

On the other hand, reports circulated about arresting Rami Makhlouf and his brother by regime intelligence and the Russians are completely untrue.

SOHR sources reported yesterday new details about the ongoing developments of the Russian conflict with Rami Makhlouf, the cousin of Syrian regime president Bashar al-Assad, by undermining Makhlouf through imposing many restrictions on his properties, assets and business. These developments prompted Makhlouf to appear in videos footage pleading his innocence and defending himself, in an attempt to win public sympathy.

Syrian Observatory sources confirmed that regime security forces arrested, at Russia’s orders, more than 28 managers and technicians of telecom company “Syriatel” owned by Rami Makhlouf.

Russian forces also were directly involved in overseeing and executing the raids and arrests of Syriatel’s managers and technicians, while the Syrian Observatory confirmed that Makhlouf was still free.

On the other hand, reliable sources informed SOHR that Syriatel employees and technicians had been prevented from accessing the communications towers and masts for at least three weeks, after their entry into those towers used to be normal with automatically routine security approval.

The developments in this case followed Russian insistence on taking over Syriatel telecom and eliminating the cousin of the Syrian regime’s president. There are growing concerns among Syrian regime loyalists about the repercussions of this case and the collapse of the economy, as tens of thousands of people work at Makhlouf’s companies.

Furthermore, the Syrian Observatory confirmed that the names circulated on social media about detainees from Syriatel company, were in fact of people who previously worked for the company and left months ago.