Besieged Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has spent the past two years brutally slaughtering tens of thousands of his own people—but apparently he has not been too busy for romance. The Hezbollah-linked Al Akhbar newspaper reports that Assad’s wife, 37-year-old Asma, has a baby on the way.
"Past rumors have suggested that Assad became pregnant in June," dished Washington Post blogger, Max Fisher in a post today.
June 2012 would have been a difficult time for the Assad family to add a new member. That month, the violence became so bad—and cooperation from the Syrian authorities so frustratingly poor—that the United Nations formally withdrew its monitoring mission from the country.
If Fisher’s timeline is correct, that means the baby should be due in March, exactly two years after Assad began a violent crackdown on anti-government rebels that the U.N. estimates has already left over 60,000 dead.
That same month, Vogue published a 3,200-word profile on Asma al-Assad titled, "A Rose in the Desert." The article described her as "glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies." It later scrubbed the story from the web amid public backlash as the death toll began to rise.