The Telegraph has more from the cache of Assad emails:
Asma al-Assad, the British-born wife of Syria’s president, told a friend that she was the “real dictator” in the family, according to leaked emails that suggest she holds a cherished place in the leader’s inner circle.
On Jan 17, she circulated an email cracking a joke at the expense of the people of Homs, shortly before a regime onslaught that would claim hundreds of lives.
The people of the city have long been the target of derision for other Syrians. Mrs Assad received from her husband an email with the subject line “Student who obtained 0% on an exam”.
It contained one of those lists of jokes that circulate widely on the internet, in the form of questions with silly answers. The first was: “In which battle did Napoleon die? – His last battle”.
The next day she forwarded the email to her father and two other family members with the changed subject line: “A really bright Homsi student!”
Mrs Assad’s “dictator” comment was made partly in jest during an exchange with a friend about how much attention spouses typically pay to each other.
“As for listening – I am the REAL dictator, he has no choice …” she wrote on Dec 14. Her use of the word in reference to her husband suggests she understands how others regard him.
The president is affectionate to his wife, although his inbox shows that two of his trusted aides were young Syrian women based in the United States. A woman who looked to be in her 20s sent him a photograph of herself standing provocatively against a wall in her underwear.