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Syria's former first lady dies at 86

Anisa Ahmed Makhlouf, the late mother of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (file photo)

Anisa Ahmed Makhlouf, the mother of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has passed away at the age of 86.

Makhlouf, the wife of late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, died after years of illness at a hospital in the capital Damascus on Saturday.

She was born in the western Syrian city of Latakia and married the former president in 1957.

The country’s presidential office issued a statement confirming her death and thanking people for their condolences. 

Anisa Makhlouf (C), the wife of former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad (top left) are seen in this family photo in the early 1970s along with their children. (Left to right: Bashar, Maher, Majed, Bushra, and Bassel)

Bashar was Makhlouf's third child out of the five, including Bushra, Bassel, Majed and Maher.

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