The Guardian reports: A Harley Street cardiologist has been acting as a close adviser to the president of Syria during his regime’s brutal crackdown on anti-government activists, according to a cache of what appear to be emails sent and received by Bashar al-Assad and his wife.
Dr Fawas Akhras, who is the father of Assad’s wife, Asma, used a private email channel to the Syrian leader to offer advice on how the regime should spin its suppression of the uprising, including how best to rebut graphic video footage appearing to show the torture of children by Syrian forces.
The 66-year-old west London-based consultant has until now been regarded as a modernising influence on his son-in-law. He is co-chair of the British Syrian Society, which has said it is “saddened and appalled at the violence and loss of life in Syria”, where more than 8,000 people are believed to have been killed since the uprising against Assad’s rule began a year ago.
But a collection of several thousand messages to and from the Assads’ private email accounts obtained by the Guardian appears to show that as the violence escalated in recent months, Akhras offered the Syrian president detailed political and media handling advice as well as moral support in dozens of emails direct to his personal inbox.