The Syrian first lady, Asma al Assad, is being treated for breast cancer in Damascus.
The country’s presidency confirmed her news in a post on Facebook, where she was pictured in hospital with what appeared to be an IV drip in her arm.
She’s pictured sitting next to her was her husband, President Bashar al Assad, who wished her a speedy recovery.
In a statement, the presidency said she had shown “strength, confidence and faith” as she embarked upon the initial stages of treatment. The malignant tumour is understood to have been caught early.
The announcement is rather strange seeing as cancer is considered a taboo in the Arab world.
Asma AL Assad, 42, has been married to the president for 18 years, and they have three children, Hafez, Zein, and Karim.
She was raised in Britain and her father is a Harley Street doctor.