Assad's British-born wife pregnant?

London, Jan 30 (IANS) Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's British-born wife Asma is pregnant, a British daily said Wednesday.

The president reportedly told the news to "mysteriously anonymous Arab visitors" to Syria, who passed it on to Beirut newspaper al-Akhbar, the Daily Mail reported.

The 37-year-old Asma Assad, born in London, is already a mother of three. The pregnancy report could not be confirmed, the daily said.

Once described by Vogue magazine as a "rose in the desert", Asma has not been seen in public in recent months.

Her father Fawaz Akhras is a cardiologist in London.

The al-Akhbar article said: "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 Asma, which could not be dealt with as a simple personal matter between a couple."

Though a Muslim, Asma went to a Church of England school, where she was known as Emma.

After studying computer science and French literature at King's College London, she worked as a banker when she met her future husband.

At the time, Bashar al-Assad was training at a hospital in London to become an eye surgeon.

It is not the first time rumours of Asma's pregnancy have circulated.

In November, a Syrian news agency Akhbar Shabab Soriya (Syria Youth News) said she was five months pregnant. In that case, the baby would be due in March.

Earlier this month, Assad and his family were reported to be living on a warship guarded by the Russian navy.


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