Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad, second from right, meets the Spanish royal family in this 2010 photo. Her husband., President Bashar al-Assad is second from left. (DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Syria’s Bashar al-Assad says his wife is pregnant
By Max Fisher , Updated: January 28, 2013
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose regime is embroiled in a now two-year civil war that has killed tens of thousands, gave a cheery interview to unnamed “visitors,” as reported by a sympathetic newspaper, in which he offhandedly revealed that his wife is pregnant. Asma al-Assad, the 37-year-old, British-born young mother of three (now four?), was warmly profiled in Vogue’s February 2011 issue for her style and flair; shortly after, she was placed under severe economic sanctions by the European Union for her role in state abuses.
Bashar al-Assad let the news slip in a recent talk with mysteriously anonymous “visitors,” who relayed his comments to the Beirut-based al-Akhbar newspaper, an aggressive outlet often described as aligned with such anti-Western movements as Hezbollah. He mostly spent the interview insisting, against all evidence, that his regime was sure of imminent victory in the country’s civil war and that the resistance came purely from foreign-funded extremists. The article also strained to show Assad as coolly confident, including by apparently confirming rumors of his wife’s pregnancy:
On the personal level, the man seems calm and in control. His confidence level stands out. Also, there’s the news of the pregnancy of his wife Asmaa, which could not be dealt with as a simple personal matter