9 August 2018Hot off the Press
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer, Syria’s official state news agency reported on Wednesday (local time).
Asma al-Assad, the British-born first lady of Syria, is currently being treated for early stage breast cancer at a military hospital in Damascus.
The Syrian President tweeted a photo of him sitting along his wife as she received treatment, saying, “With strength and confidence and faith, lady Asma al-Assad starts the first stage of treatment for a malignant breast tumor discovered in the early stages”.
بقوة وثقة وإيمان.. السيدة #أسماء_الأسد تبدأ المرحلة الأولية لعلاج ورم خبيث بالثدي اكتشف مبكرا..
من القلب .. رئاسة الجمهورية والفريق العامل فيها يتمنون للسيدة أسماء الشفاء العاجل.. pic.twitter.com/W3vi9h1GUt
— Syrian Presidency (@Presidency_Sy) August 8, 2018
Ms Assad attended school and university in London before becoming an investment banker.
She moved to Syria in 2000 and married former ophthalmologist Bashar al-Assad, just months before he succeeded his father Hafez al-Assad as president.
The first lady has become a highly controversial figure, after she was one of 12 people placed under EU sanctions in 2012 over the government’s violent response to the Syrian uprising.
She continued to stand by her husband throughout brutal police attacks in the southern city of Deraa, which sparked a conflict that claimed the lives of around half a million and displaced millions more.