Russia denies giving shelter to Assad wife
Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad Thursday denied reports that Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has arrived in Moscow.
Moscow: Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad Thursday denied reports that Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has arrived in Moscow.
"This is absolutely wrong information. The wife of the president did not come to Moscow," Haddad was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
He said the 36-year-old Asma was still in Damascus with her husband and other family members.
Asma, who married Assad in December 2000, was born, raised and educated in Britain. The couple have three children.
On Thursday, a British media report said Asma had arrived in Russia while her husband was away from Damascus after Wednesday's bombing. The report did not name sources or offer official confirmation from Syria, Xinhua said.
The bombing in Damascus killed Syrian Defence Minister Dawood Rajha and his deputy Assef Shawkat.
Syrian rebels said on Sunday they had captured a helicopter base east of Damascus after an overnight assault, their latest gain in a costly battle to unseat President Bashar al-Assad that is drawing nearer to his seat of power.
Knud Bartels, a Danish general who chairs Nato's Military Committee, said that the Western alliance was drafting plans for safeguarding Syria's chemical weapons stocks if Assad stepped down.