'Near-naked woman pic on Assad’s e-mail account'
Damascus: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was sent a photograph of a near-naked woman posing provocatively on his personal e-mail account, it has been revealed.
The undated picture, discovered among thousands of e-mails from the personal accounts of Assad and his wife after their passwords were smuggled by opposition groups, showed the woman, clad only in white lingerie, pressing herself against a wall as her clothes lie discarded in a heap at her feet.
The photograph was sent to Assad on December 11, 2011, by a woman who is not his wife, The Telegraph reports.
Members of the Syrian opposition believe the woman may also have a second e-mail address under a false name, which she used to send Assad more intimate messages.
This account appears to have been set up on December 01, 2011, and as an apparent test an e-mail was sent to Assad's address saying simply “hi”.
Around 18 minutes later he replied “Hi and a half”.
Over several weeks, the exchange becomes more flirtatious as they swapped romantic music by the popular Lebanese singer Fairuz, and at one point, he appears to send her a gift certificate.
On January 17, Assad received an e-mail from the second account with a single Arabic character meaning “I love you” and on January 25 another e-mail contains only an x, the popular sign for a kiss.
There is evidence in the e-mails that the Assads began to cling even closer together as the fighting grew fiercer in Syria.
On December 28, the woman wrote to him, “If we are strong together, we will overcome this together...I love you”.