Asma al-Assad, the wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and a former investment banker, is likely to join 114 other Syrians on a list of individuals sanctioned by the European Union, freezing her assets to preventing shopping, travel and other commerce in foreign countries.
Meanwhile, reports emerge of Assad's emails to friends where she boasts of the power of the Syrian regime, and that she is the real dictator.
European Union ministers in Brussels will vote Friday to list Assad, 38, among the sanctioned Syrians, according to the Telegraph of London. The list of proposed targets includes many Assad family members. In addition, 38 organizations will be considered for sanctions. This will impose a European Union travel ban on the first lady, but would not prevent her from travelling to Britain, where she possibly has maintained her citizenship. She married Bashar in early 2000, when he was installed as Syrian president after the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad. The Telegraph reports she may have already violated sanctions with an online shopping spree.
Elsewhere, the New York Daily News reports that Bashar's better half has been touting her status as an inner-circle player within the Syrian regime. Emails obtained by hackers and leaked to the public show her braggadoccio, warning that the regime is done messing around with its opponents. The Daily News writes the first lady displays no remorse for the violent crackdown ordered by her husband, which has claimed thousands of lives. Further, the Telegraph reports she wrote in the leaked emails: As for listening - I am the REAL dictator, he has no choice.
The series of events is particularly damning to the first lady, as she pushed for liberal reform in the months before the Syrian uprising began.