World News 21 Mayıs 2024

Bashar al Assad's wife diagnosed with leukaemia

Bashar al Assad's wife diagnosed with leukaemia

Syrian first lady Asma al Assad has been diagnosed with leukaemia, according to a statement from the president’s office.

Mrs al Assad, who was born in the UK and is a British citizen, will “temporarily withdraw from all direct engagements” and “adhere to a specialised treatment protocol”.

She has previously been treated for breast cancer and in August 2019 announced she was “completely” free of the disease, a year after her diagnosis.

The Syrian first lady has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, an aggressive cancer of the bone marrow and the blood.

Since Syria plunged into war in 2011, Mrs al Assad has taken on a public role of leading charity efforts and meeting families of killed soldiers, but she has also become a divisive figure.

The 48-year-old has been placed under Western sanctions and been accused of using her British education and Western style to try to mask the brutality of her husband’s crackdown on dissent.

The war, which has killed nearly half a million people and displaced half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million, began as peaceful protests against Bashar al Assad‘s government in March 2011.

The protests were met with violence, and the revolt quickly spiralled into a full-blown civil war.

Read more:
Assad and wife laugh and wave at Asian Games
Assad ‘should not be invited to COP28’

Mrs al Assad runs the Syria Trust for Development, a large NGO that acts as an umbrella organisation for many of the aid and development operations in Syria.

Last year, she accompanied her husband on a visit to the United Arab Emirates, in her first known official trip abroad with him since 2011.

Bashar al Assad's wife diagnosed with leukaemia
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She has been married to Mr al Assad since 2000, when she quit her job as an investment banker.

He has been in power since then.

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