Speculation Grows About Syrian First Lady While Attacks In Damascus Get Deadlier
With the departure of United Nations military observers this week, the Syrian army has been using tanks and helicopters in an attack on the areas around Damascus.
Activists who oppose President Bashar al-Assad said that this bombing has been the heaviest this month.
The New York Times reported that the latest attack Wednesday morning in Damascus killed 12 people.
U.N. estimates said that 18,000 people have been killed in Syria since its civil war began.
Meanwhile, CNN wonders where Asma al-Assad, Syria's first lady, could be.
A British-born and British-educated woman, Asma al-Assad, 36, was once profiled in a controversial 2011 piece in Vogue, which was eventually removed from the magazine's website.
According to CNN, the first lady was raised in the middle-class neighborhood of Acton in West London, went to the private girls school Queens College and graduated from Kings College in London.
The future Mrs. Assad met her husband-to-be while on vacation in Syria with her family.
It was not expected that Bashar al-Assad would be the son to replace his father as leader of Syria.
Despite Syria's record of human rights abuses, the first lady claimed in a 2009 interview with CNN that she was an advocate for human rights, condemning violence that was happening at the time between Israeli and Palestinian forces.
Vogue had called her a "rose in the desert," and she claimed in the CNN interview to want to use the extent of her power to prevent atrocities like the violence in the Gaza Strip.
Now, while her husband continues to deny involvement in the large-scale civilian death toll in their own country, many are asking where her interest in human rights has gone.
The Telegraph reported that Mrs. Assad, "who is considered one of the most glamorous first ladies in the world," may have fled to her native England with the three children she had with the president.
Reuters also reported that Russia claims that Syria will not use chemical weapons in their assault against rebel forces.
President Barack Obama had threatened "enormous consequences" if Syria had even moved the weapons in any way.
Russia has been Syria's largest ally, and along with China has been the biggest roadblock in preventing the U.N. Security Council from raising pressure on al-Assad to stop the violence in his country.
Russia also claimed, according to Reuters, to vehemently oppose military intervention in Syria.