Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Asma al-Assad: Syria's first lady treated for breast cancer

Asma al-Assad: Syria's first lady treated for breast cancer

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is being treated for an early-stage malignant tumour, the office of the Syrian Presidency announced.

Photos posted on social media show British-born Asma al-Assad sitting alongside the president with an IV line in her arm, while apparently undergoing treatment.

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

It was discovered early, according to the announcement, which was accompanied by a photo of the first lady and her husband at a Damascus hospital.

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.

Asma is heavily involved in charity work, and has created a variety of organizations that function under the charity sector of the Syrian government. She was also personally sanctioned by the EU. The long illness of the president's father, Hafez, who ruled Syria for decades, was a closely guarded secret even as he appeared frailer in public in the last months of his life.

Before the crisis began in March 2011, she was the subject of flattering profiles in Vogue and other fashion magazines.

Syria's First Lady was placed under European Union sanctions in 2012 over the government's violent response to the Syrian uprising.

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. Since her sit-down with RT, Asma's Instagram and Twitter accounts have continued to post photographs of her visiting with wounded citizens across the country.

She married Al Assad in 2000 and the pair have three children.

Like this: