Syria's first lady diagnosed with breast cancer

Elias Hubbard
August 9, 2018

Syria's First Lady, Asma al-Assad has been admitted to a hospital in Damascus after being diagnosed with incipient breast cancer, the Presidential Office twittered on Wednesday.

Born and raised in London, 42-year-old Asma al-Assad has been a highly controversial figure.

Mrs al-Assad has an official Instagram page with 266,000 followers, on which she posts photos of herself with her husband and Syrian government troops.

"With strength and confidence and faith, Mrs Asma al-Assad begins the preliminary stage of treatment for a malignant tumor in the breast that was discovered early", the statement said.

The presidency did not specify where the first lady was being treated, but the word "military" was printed on a blanket visible in the picture, indicating she was likely in a government-run military hospital.

"From the heart. the presidency of the republic and its working group wishing Mrs. Asma speedy recovery".

A dual British-Syrian national, Mrs Assad attended school and university in London before becoming an investment banker.

She married the Syrian president in 2000, and they have three children.

The same year, activists released thousands of private emails purportedly from Mr Assad and his wife apparently showing that the latter continued to buy luxury goods even after the uprising had begun. Her assets were frozen as a result of the sanctions, and she was unable to travel to any country in the EU.

Since Syria's civil war broke out, Asma Assad has mostly been seen in public receiving families of fallen soldiers, or hosting people wounded in the conflict, now in its eighth year, which has killed more than 400,000 people.

She did not speak to foreign media again until 2016, when she told Russian state-backed television that she had previously rejected offers of asylum overseas.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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