Assad’s wife declares herself 'totally free' of breast cancer
The wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad said in an interview aired late Saturday that she was "totally" free of breast cancer after a year of treatment.
"My journey has ended... I totally conquered cancer," said Asma al-Assad, sporting a short haircut and a long white dress, in an interview broadcast on state television.
The Syrian presidency announced last August that the 44-year-old wife of Assad had begun treatment for breast cancer.
Since then, photos of her, thin and wearing a headscarf, have regularly been shared on the Syrian presidency's social media accounts.
In January, she underwent an operation at a military hospital in Damascus, according to the presidency.
In the interview, she described the "physical exhaustion" and other effects stemming from her treatment.
She praised the support she received from her children, her parents and her "life partner".
"Of course he was by my side," she said, referring to Assad.
Asma Al-Assad, whose father is a cardiologist and whose mother is a diplomat, has two sons and a daughter with Assad.
Born in 1975 in Britain, the former investment banker styled herself as a progressive rights advocate and the modern face of the Assad family, which has ruled Syria with an iron fist since 1970.
However, she has supported her husband through the brutal suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations and the bloody conflict which followed, in which more than 500,000 Syrians were killed, mostly as a result of regime bombardment of civilian areas.
In 2012, leaked emails revealed that she had spent £250,000 on lavish furniture and £5,000 on crystal-encrusted heels, while Syrian cities were being devastated by the Assad regime.
Many Syrians consider her complicit in Bashar al-Assad’s war, and there have been calls for her British citizenship to be revoked.