Bashar al-Assad’s wife Asma diagnosed with breast cancer
The wife of Syrian regime president Bashar al-Assad has been diagnosed with breast cancer, the Syrian presidency officially announced on Wednesday.
Asma al-Assad has begun the initial stage of treatment for a malignant tumour in her breast, which was discovered early by doctors, according to the Syrian presidency's official Twitter account.
Bashar al-Assad can be seen talking to his wife Asma in a photograph tweeted out by the official account.
She appears to be undergoing treatment in the picture, although it is unknown where she is receiving medical care and when it began.
Asma's marriage to Bashar was announced by state media around six months after he assumed the presidency in July 2000 following the death of his father Hafez.
The former investment banker styled herself as a progressive rights advocate and was seen as the modern side of the Assad dynasty.
She did not appear much in public in the first few years of the uprising, but over the past two years has been a lot more active.
Dubbed the "First lady of hell", in 2012 private emails revealed that the 42-year-old British citizen had spent £250,000 on 130 pieces of lavish furniture during the first year of the devastating Syrian war.
She had also bought a pair of shoes for £5,000 with crystal-encrusted heels, according to Wikileaks.
The mother-of-three has stood at her husband's side in his rare public appearances, posing for selfies with supporters in pictures posted to the presidency's Instagram account.
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