LONDON (Reuters) – A provocative photograph of a near-naked young woman appears among e-mails apparently sent to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and hacked by opposition activists who shared them with Western media.
On Saturday, London’s Daily Telegraph published an edited version of the photograph, which has been seen by Reuters among the original e-mails. It speculated on the state of his 11-year marriage to British-born Asma al-Assad, who has stood by her husband during a year of protests that come close to civil war.
LONDON (Reuters) – Syrian estrangement from fellow Arab leaders is a deeply personal affair, as apparently hacked emails between President Bashar al-Assad and his wife illustrate.
Few relationships have turned as sour as between Damascus and the Gulf state of Qatar, whose fabulously wealthy emir was once among Assad’s closest friends and investors but now leads a push to oust him, by force if necessary, after a year of revolt.
BEIRUT/LONDON (Reuters) – “I’ve been a walking heartache; I’ve made a mess of me” – the first words of a country music lament which, it seems, Syria’s president e-mailed to his wife as his army shelled the rebellious city of Homs last month.
For many Syrians, little gifts of iTunes downloads and the luxury shopping habits of his British-born wife – revealed in hacked messages published by London’s Guardian newspaper on Thursday – only reinforced an image of Bashar al-Assad as an uncaring tyrant, fiddling in his palaces as their country burns.