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Syria's first lady stands by President Bashar al-Assad

7 February 2012 Last updated at 18:41 GMT

The wife of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad has spoken out to defend her husband.

Mrs Asma Assad took the unusual step of writing to the Times newspaper to explain why she thought her husband was still the right person to lead Syria, causing a furious backlash among Syrians living in the UK.

The BBC's Caroline Hawley has been talking to those who knew Mrs Assad when she lived in Britain.