Syrian government denies rumours about Assad’s health

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Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks to French journalists in Damascus, Syria, in this handout picture provided by SANA on January 9, 2017. SANA/Handout via REUTERS

ARA News

Damascus – The Syrian government has denied claims that President Bashar al-Assad has had a stroke.

Assad’s office stressed that “the President is in excellent heath”.

This comes after several media outlets have been speculating about Assad’s health.

Last week, the Lebanese newspaper al-Mustaqbal cited what it called ‘reliable sources’ that Assad, 51, had suffered “a cerebral infarction” and was being treated in a hospital in Damascus amid high security.

However, Syria’s state news agency SANA reported that the rumours were “absolutely incorrect”.

SANA quoted the president’s office in Damascus as saying that Assad was working as normal, and refuted the claims.

“The Syrian people have become immune against such lies,” Assad’s office said in a statement.

“These rumours are hopes in the imagination of those who made them up,” it said.

According to SANA, the spreading of the rumours coincided with a remarkable change in the balance of power in Syria, after the Syrian regime –supported by Russia– expelled rebel groups from Aleppo in November.

Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi 

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