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Report: 'I am the real dictator,' wife of Syria's Bashar Assad says

The wife of Syria's President Bashar Assad declared that she was the family's "real dictator," according to an email leaked to regime opponents, a British newspaper reported Monday.

British-born Asma Assad's messages imply that she occupies an important spot the dictator's inner circle, the Daily Telegraph reported.



Syria email hack points to new 'information war'

Late Sunday, a firefight broke out between Free Syrian Army rebels and forces loyal to Assad in Mezze, a main district of the capital Damascus, witnesses told Reuters, while a car bomb ripped through a residential area of Syria's second city Aleppo, a day after twin blasts killed 27 in the capital Damascus.

Car bomb in Syria after activists beaten

"There is fighting near Hamada supermarket and the sound of explosions there and elsewhere in the neighborhood. Security police have blocked several side streets and the street lighting has been cut off," a housewife who lives in the area told Reuters by telephone.

Extra troops have been patrolling in Mezze, located on the Damascus-Beirut road, after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in the neighborhood last month to denounce Assad following the killing of several protesters.

Email: 'No more messing around'
Despite the violence, the emails allegedly from Asma Assad, 38, portray a wife who is very supportive of her husband's hard-line measures. She had indicated that she was interested in liberalizing Syria before the beginning of the uprising, the Telegraph reported.

She praised a speech the president gave for displaying a sense of strength and that there would be "no more messing around," in one email to a friend on Jan. 10, the newspaper reported.

Shortly before the government onslaught that would claim hundreds of lives in Homs later in January, she circulated an email making a joke at the expense of the city, the Telegraph said., The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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