Syrians living in Dubai confirmed Sunday that President Bashar Assad’s sister, Bushra, has defected from Syria and is living with her children in the United Arab Emirates.

According to an AFP report, locals confirmed earlier claims that Bushra, the Syrian leader’s only sister, had deserted her home country, and her brother, to live in Dubai with her family.

LReports first surfaced last week that Bushra Assad had left Syria and enrolled her five children at schools in the UAE.

In July, her husband, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Syrian Armed Forces Assef Shawkat, died in a bomb attack in Damascus that killed two other members of Assad’s inner circle.

Sources in Syria told Al Arabiya last week that following the death of her husband, Bushra grew worried about her safety and that of her children, adding that a “quasi-coup taking place” within the ranks of the Alawite leaderships had prompted Bushra to flee the country.

According to the report, Alawite leaders are worried that the whole sect would be implicated along with Assad for crimes against civilians.