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Bashar al-Assad's wife being treated for breast cancer

09 August 2018

Asma al-Assad, 42, who was born into a Syrian family in the United Kingdom and graduated from King's College London, enjoys popularity owing to her social activity.

"Asma al-Assad is beginning the first stage of treatment for a malignant tumour in the breast that was discovered at an early stage", the president's office said on its Facebook page.

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.

The announcement came with a photo of the first lady in loose clothing and trainers, sitting on a chair in a hospital room with an intravenous drip inserted in her left hand.

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Asma has become highly controversial since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

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 still allowed to travel between Syria and Great Britain, where she retained citizenship. Also, she provides assistance to the families of soldier who died in combat and to shelters for orphans.

In a now infamous interview with Vogue magazine in February 2012 - as the government had begun cracking down on the months-old uprising - Ms Al Assad was described as "a rose in the desert" and "wildly democratic".

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

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

The same photo was posted on Asma's Instagram account, prompting a flurry of good wishes from many of her 260,000 followers.

Asma and Bashar Assad have been married for 18 years and have three children, Hafez, Zein and Karim.

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Bashar al-Assad's wife being treated for breast cancer