Asmaa al-Assad a step closer to Syrian presidency after war crimes investigation

Kamil Fustuqdar - First lady empowerment correspondent

Asmaa al-Assad a step closer to Syrian presidency after war crimes investigation image

Asmaa al-Assad, Syria’s first lady, is now fully qualified according to customary law to enter the Syrian presidential elections as a candidate, following the opening of an investigation by the UK Metropolitan police into her possible complicity in war crimes, the Syrian state news agency announced.

Experts said the new charges will add to Asmaa’s credibility as a candidate among the country’s security agencies, which had suffered due to a lack of serious allegations of violence and brutality. Many saw the fact that she had only racked up accusations of wide-scale corruption, nepotism and embezzlement as a sign of weakness of character.

Strategic analyst Nizar Kilotaty said recent news reports about Asmaa, which had presented her as a possible, acceptable candidate to the West for the presidency in her husband’s stead, was only the latest example of the Syrian state’s shining achievements.

“This will be the first dictatorship in the region led by a woman,” said Kilotaty. “Syria has already exceeded all of its neighboring countries on statistics like total martyrdoms, and it is the only modern revolution that the state responded to with such violence that it destroyed the people, state and country.”

“Now we are on the road to destroying a hated patriarchal dictatorship and replacing it with a loving, kind woman-led dictatorship,” he added. “I believe this will empower first ladies throughout the Middle East and help the wives of presidents, kings, princes and sheikhs everywhere break the glass ceiling.”

Kilotaty said Asmaa was well known in Syria already for her humanitarian work and visits to the families of dead soldiers, a reputation that had weakened her position in Syria’s power structure.

“To be honest those initiatives made some question her leadership abilities, especially since she retained the British citizenship for so long despite her complete devotion to Bashar,” he said. “But these recent accusations show her heart is also dead and she can be trusted to lead.”