Trend Update: Stroke Rumors Swirl Around Syria’s al-Assad, January 2017

January 30, 2017: Rumors are swirling around the Middle East and Syria regarding the health of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The president is 51 years old.

Last week the Saudi publication al-Sharq al-Awsat quoted sources in Russia and said Assad was “exhausted” due to “psychological pressures”. He was reported to have a “nervous tic in his left eye.”

Rumors are running wild on social media and mainstream news sources. Some say al-Assad has had a massive stroke. Some claim he has a brain tumor. Allegedly, he is being treated by Russian and Syrian doctors. Some claim he has been shot. Some claim he is dead.

But according to officials with the Syrian government, “The presidency denies all these reports. President Assad is in excellent health.”

The Syrian government took to Facebook and explained Assad is in “excellent health and carrying out his functions quite naturally.”

Something is not right. The Syrian president has not been seen in public since Thursday, January 26, 2017.

All of this is happening as the government of Syria has regained control of water sources for the city of Damascus. Rebels have surrendered the territory northwest of Damascus.

The country of Syria has been in civil war for six years. One would think this only complicates the matter on the ground.

Keep an eye on this one, this is a developing story with potential significant considerations.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4171722/Syria-denies-rumours-President-Assad-stroke.html

http://www.ibtimes.com/bashar-assad-dying-syrian-government-denies-president-suffered-stroke-critical-2483616

http://www.dailysabah.com/syrian-crisis/2017/01/30/assads-health-in-critical-condition-reports-claim

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/syria-forced-deny-bashar-al-assad-sick-after-stroke-rumours-1086672400

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38782935

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