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Hafez al-Assad

Hafez al-Assad

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Hafez ibn 'Ali ibn Sulayman al-Assad or more commonly Hafez al-Assad ( , 6 October 1930 – 10 June 2000) was the President of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 for three decades. Assad's rule consolidated the power of the central government after decades of coups and counter-coups, such as Operation Wappen in 1957 conducted by the Eisenhower administration and preceding covert activities, and continued foreign influence thereafter. His rule brought modern changes, including the 1973 constitution which guaranteed women's equal status in society. Assad attempted to industrialize the country, and it was opened up to foreign markets. He invested in infrastructure, education, medicine, and urban construction. Literacy was increased, and, as a result of the discovery of oil, the economy expanded.

He also drew criticism for repression of his own people, in particular for ordering the Hama massacre
Hama massacre
The Hama massacre occurred in February 1982, when the Syrian army, under the orders of the president of Syria Hafez al-Assad, conducted a scorched earth policy against the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Sunni Muslim community against the regime of al-Assad...

 of 1982, which has been described as "the single deadliest act by any Arab government against its own people in the modern Middle East". Human Rights groups have detailed thousands of extrajudicial executions he committed against opponents of his regime.

He was succeeded by his son, current president Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad is the President of Syria and Regional Secretary of the Ba'ath Party. His father Hafez al-Assad ruled Syria for 29 years until his death in 2000. Al-Assad was elected in 2000, re-elected in 2007, unopposed each time.- Early Life :...

, in 2000.

Early life


Hafez ibn 'Ali ibn Sulayman al-Assad was born into a poor family, in the town of Qardaha
Qardaha
Qardaha is a village in northwestern Syria, in the mountains overlooking the coastal town of Latakia.It is mainly an Alawite town and the traditional home of the Assad family, that has ruled Syria since 1970. During the reign of Hafez al-Assad 1970-2000 the government poured massive investments...

 in the Latakia
Latakia Governorate
Latakia Governorate or muhafazah al Ladhiqiyah is one of the fourteen governorates of Syria. It is situated in western Syria, bordering Turkey. Its reported area varies in different sources from 2,297 km² to 2,437 km² . The Governorate has a population of 991,000 and is one of the...

 province of western Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 (then a French Mandate
French Mandate of Syria
Officially the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon was a League of Nations mandate founded after the First World War and the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire...

) into a minority Alawite
Alawite
The Alawis, also known as Alawites, Nusayris and Ansaris are a prominent mystical and syncretic religious group centred in Syria who are a branch of Shia Islam.-Etymology:...

 family. He was the first member of the Assad family
Assad family
The Assad family has ruled Syria, since Hafez al-Assad became Syrian President in 1971 and established an authoritarian regime under the control of the Baath party. After his death in 2000, his son Bashar al-Assad succeeded him....

 to attend high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

, Jules Jammal
Jules Jammal
Jules Yusuf Jammal was a Syrian Arab Christian military officer who martyred himself in a suicide bomb attack during the 1956 Suez Crisis against western forces.-Military Career and Death:...

 High School in Lattakia. He joined the Ba'ath Party in 1946 at the age of 16.

Air Force career



Assad attended Homs Military Academy in 1952. In 1955, Assad graduated and was commissioned as a lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

 in the Syrian Air Force
Syrian Air Force
The Syrian Air Force is the Aviation branch of the Syrian Armed Forces. It was established in 1948.-History:The end of World War II led to a withdrawal of the United Kingdom and France from the Middle East, and this included a withdrawal from Syria...

, making him one of the first Alawis to join the air force. He became a combat and aerobatics display pilot, flying the Gloster Meteor
Gloster Meteor
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet. It first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force...

 jet fighter as well as other types. He shot down a British plane during the Suez Operation. While at the Academy, he met Mustafa Tlass
Mustafa Tlass
Lt. Gen. Mustafa Tlass is a Syrian politician and a long time minister of defense, now retired.-Rise to power:Tlass was born in the Syrian town of al-Rastan near the city of Homs to a prominent Sunni Muslim family. He joined the Ba'ath Party at the age of 15, and met Hafez al-Assad when studying...

. In 1957, he was sent for additional training in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. While stationed in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, he developed a pan-Arab ideology and came to believe that the U.A.R.
United Arab Republic
The United Arab Republic , often abbreviated as the U.A.R., was a sovereign union between Egypt and Syria. The union began in 1958 and existed until 1961, when Syria seceded from the union. Egypt continued to be known officially as the "United Arab Republic" until 1971. The President was Gamal...

 concentrated too much power in the hands of Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

. Assad was then assigned to a post in rural Egypt away from political activity. At the breakup of the union in 1961, Assad was briefly imprisoned by the Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian authorities.

Political career



From 1961 to 1963 he worked at the Ministry of Sea Transportation while focusing on Ba'ath Party political activities. Assad and others planned the 1963 coup d'état, which took the Ba'ath Party to power. Following the coup, Assad returned to the Air Force in the rank of major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

. Syria was officially ruled by Amin Hafiz
Amin Hafiz
Amin al-Hafiz was a Syrian politician, general and member of the Ba'th Party.-Early life:Al-Hafiz was born in the city of Aleppo....

, a Sunni Muslim, but was in practice dominated by young Alawite Ba'athists.

The following year, 1964, Assad jumped several ranks to become a general
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 and was appointed to the Ba'ath Party's regional command. The following year, he became Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force. This military power allowed Assad, operating in conjunction with Salah Jadid, to overthrow the government of Amin Hafiz in 1966.

In 1966, the Ba'ath launched a coup d'état within the government and cleared the other parties from the government. Assad became Minister of Defense and wielded considerable influence over government policy. However, there was tension between the dominant radical wing of the Ba'ath Party, which promoted an aggressive foreign policy and rapid social reform, and Assad's more pragmatic, military-based faction. After being discredited by the failure of the Syrian military in the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 in 1967, and enraged by the aborted Syrian intervention in the Jordanian-Palestinian Black September
Black September in Jordan
September 1970 is known as the Black September in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the "era of regrettable events." It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the militancy of Palestinian organizations and restore his monarchy's rule over the country. The...

 war, the government faced conflict within its ranks. By the time President Nureddin al-Atassi
Nureddin al-Atassi
Noureddin Mohammed Ali al-Atassi was President of Syria from February 1966 to November 1970...

 and the de facto leader, deputy secretary general of the Ba'ath Party Salah Jadid
Salah Jadid
Salah Jadid was a Syrian general and political figure in the Baath Party, and the country's de facto leader from 1966 until 1970.- Rise to power :...

, realized the threat and ordered Assad and Tlass be stripped of all party and government power, it was too late. Assad swiftly launched a bloodless intra-party coup, the Corrective Revolution
1970 Syrian Corrective Revolution
The 1970 Syrian Corrective Revolution, better known as the Syrian Corrective Movement, was a military-pragmatist faction's takeover within the Ba'ath party regime of Syria on November 13, 1970, bringing Hafez al-Assad to power.-Background:...

 of 1970. The party was purged, Atassi and Jadid jailed, and Assad loyalists installed in key posts throughout the government.

Presidency


Al-Assad inherited a dictatorial government shaped by years of unstable military rule that was organized along one-party lines after the Ba'athist coup. He increased repression, operating a vast web of police informers and agents. He became the object of a state-sponsored cult of personality
Cult of personality
A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Cults of personality are usually associated with dictatorships...

, which depicted him as a wise, just, and strong leader of Syria and of the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

 in general.

The government of al-Assad initially achieved some popularity for bringing stability to the country, which had experienced dozens of attempted coups since 1948. He also implemented many social reforms and infrastructure projects, such as the Thawra (Revolution) dam on the Euphrates River
Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

. It was built with Soviet assistance, and still supplies much of Syria's electricity. Public schooling and other reforms were extended to larger segments of the population, and a rise in living standards occurred. The government's secularism
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 meant that many members of religious minorities, such as the Alawite
Alawite
The Alawis, also known as Alawites, Nusayris and Ansaris are a prominent mystical and syncretic religious group centred in Syria who are a branch of Shia Islam.-Etymology:...

s, Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

, and Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s, supported Assad, fearing a return to historic persecution under a Sunni Islamist successor government to Assad.

Assad continued previous Ba'ath policies by overseeing massive increases in Syria's military strength (again with Soviet support) and by maintaining a strong Arab nationalist position. School curricula and the state-controlled media gave much attention to the glorious past of Syria and the Arabs, and portrayed al-Assad's government as the lone uncorrupted champion of the Arab nation against Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 and aggression. This propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 aimed to legitimize the government, but also to unify the diverse and fractured Syrian society, and instill a sense of national pride among the populace.
In 1979, a chain of assassinations took place in the artillery school in Aleppo. After almost a year, a member from the group believed to be behind the assassinations was injured and taken into custody by the Syrian intelligence system. He was identified as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood party. The party's goals were to eliminate all persons who had strong ties with the government or Ba'ath party, focusing on Ba'athists who were educated and had a good reputation within the government, or army high ranking members who were members of Assad's family or Alawites. It took Syrian intelligence a long time to penetrate the Muslim Brotherhood and diminish its power. In February 1982, Assad ordered the Syrian army
Syrian Army
The Syrian Army, officially called the Syrian Arab Army, is the land force branch of the Syrian Armed Forces. It is the dominant military service of the four uniformed services, controlling the senior most posts in the armed forces, and has the greatest manpower, approximately 80 percent of the...

 to bombard the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Muslim Brotherhood. In what became known as the Hama massacre
Hama massacre
The Hama massacre occurred in February 1982, when the Syrian army, under the orders of the president of Syria Hafez al-Assad, conducted a scorched earth policy against the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Sunni Muslim community against the regime of al-Assad...

, an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 people were killed, including about 1,000 soldiers an thousands of Islamist militants, members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In 1983, Assad suffered a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 and was confined to hospital. He named a six-man governing council to run the country in his absence, among them long-time Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass; Hafez-al Assad believed that they were less likely to try to seize power. Despite this, rumors spread that Assad was dead or nearly so, and indeed his condition was serious. In 1984, his brother Rifaat al-Assad
Rifaat al-Assad
Rifaat al-Assad is the younger brother of the former President of Syria, Hafez al-Assad, and the uncle of the current President Bashar al-Assad, all of whom come from the minority Alawite Muslim sect. He was born in the village of Qardaha, near Lattakia in western Syria. He is perhaps best known...

 attempted to use the security forces under his control to seize power. His Defense Company
Defense companies
The Defense Companies were a paramilitary force in Syria that were controlled by Rifaat al-Assad. Their task was to defend the Assad government, and Damascus, from internal and external attack...

troops of some 50,000 men, complete with tanks and helicopters, began putting up roadblocks throughout Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, and tensions between Hafez loyalists and Rifaat supporters came close to all-out war. The stand-off was not ended until Hafez, still ill, rose from his bed to reassume power and speak to the nation. He transferred command of the Defense Company and, without formal accusations, shortly after Rifaat were exiled to France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

Iraq


Even though Iraq was ruled by another branch of the Ba'ath Party, Assad's relations with Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 were extremely strained. Hostile rhetoric was intense, and until Saddam's fall in 2003, Iraq was listed in Syrian passports as one of the two countries no Syrian citizen could visit (the other being Israel). But with the exception of a few border guard skirmishes and mutual support for cross-border raids by opposition groups, no heavy fighting broke out until 1991, when Syria joined the US-led UN coalition to expel Iraq's military forces from Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 during the Persian Gulf War. In that war, Assad contributed Syrian ground troops to the battlefront.

Israel



To a large extent, Al-Assad's foreign policy was shaped by Syria's attitude toward Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. During his presidency, Syria played a major role in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. The war is presented by the Syrian government as a victory, although by the end of the war the Israeli army had invaded large areas of Syria, and taken up positions 40km from Damascus. However, through later negotiations Syria regained some territory that had been occupied in 1967 in the peace negotiations headed by Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

. The Syrian government refused to recognize the State of Israel and referred to it as the "Zionist Entity." Only in the mid-1990s did Hafez moderate his country's policy towards Israel, as he realized the loss of Soviet support meant a different balance of power in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. Pressed by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, he engaged in negotiations on the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, but these talks failed. Al-Assad believed that what constituted Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, were an integral part of "Southern Syria." Syria also took part in the 1982 Lebanon War
1982 Lebanon War
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon...

.

Lebanon



Syria deployed troops to Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 in 1976, officially in response to a request from the Lebanese government(by conspiracy) for Syrian military intervention during the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

. It is alleged that the Syrian presence in Lebanon began earlier with its involvement in as-Saiqa, a Palestinian militia composed primarily of Syrians. The Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 agreed to send a peacekeeping force mostly formed by Syrian troops. The initial goals were to save the Lebanese government from being overrun by the Left and the Palestinian militancy. Critics allege that this turned into an occupation by 1982, which is not disputed within the Lebanese community. The Syrian presence ended in 2005, due to UN resolution 1559, after the Rafiq Hariri assassination and the March 14 protests.

Palestinians


The hostile attitude to Israel meant vocal support for the Palestinians, but that did not translate into friendly relations with their organizations. Hafez al-Assad was always wary of independent Palestinian organizations, as he aimed to bring the Palestinian issue under Syrian control in order to use it as a political tool. He soon developed an implacable animosity towards Yassir Arafat's PLO, against which Syria fought bloody battles in Lebanon. As Arafat moved the PLO in a more moderate direction, seeking compromise with Israel, al-Assad feared regional isolation, and he resented the PLO underground's operations in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria. Arafat was depicted by Syria as a rogue madman and an American marionette, and after accusing him of supporting the Hama revolt
Hama massacre
The Hama massacre occurred in February 1982, when the Syrian army, under the orders of the president of Syria Hafez al-Assad, conducted a scorched earth policy against the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Sunni Muslim community against the regime of al-Assad...

, al-Assad backed the 1983 Abu Musa
Said al-Muragha
Col. Sa'eed Musa al-Muragha is a Palestinian militant better known as Abu Musa.-Early years:A Palestinian refugee, Abu Musa joined the Jordanian Army in 1948 and rose to become commander of an artillery battalion in 1969. During this period he was sent to receive a military education at the...

 rebellion inside Arafat's Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

-movement. A number of unsuccessful Syrian attempts to kill Arafat were also made.

Turkey


The attitude of Hafez al-Assad towards Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 was quite hostile while he was in power. During his rule, Syria–Turkey relations
Syria–Turkey relations
Syrian–Turkish relations have long been strained, even though Turkey shares its longest common border with Syria; various geographic and historical links also tie the two neighboring states together....

 underwent some serious political crisis. He did not recognize the annexation of Hatay by Turkey, and all official maps continued to show the territory as part of Syria. Furthermore, Syria has supported the Kurdish
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

 separatist organization PKK
Kurdistan Workers' Party
The Kurdistan Workers' Party , commonly known as PKK, also known as KGK and formerly known as KADEK or KONGRA-GEL , is a Kurdish organization which has since 1984 been fighting an armed struggle against the Turkish state for an autonomous Kurdistan and greater cultural and political rights...

, which aimed an armed struggle against Turkey for the creation of an independent Kurdistan, and allowed the PKK to recruit Syrian Kurds
Kurds in Syria
Kurds are the largest ethnic minority in Syria making up 10% of the country's population. Most of them are Sunni Muslims; there are also Yazidi and Yarsan Kurds in Syria and small numbers of Christians and Alawis. They face routine discrimination and harassment by the Syrian...

 to fight against Turkey. He was blamed by Turkey for sheltering the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan
Abdullah Öcalan
Abdullah Öcalan , Kurdish founder of the terrorist organization called Kurdistan Workers' Party in 1978.Öcalan was captured in Nairobi and extradited to the Turkish security force, and sentenced to death under Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code, which concerns the formation of armed gangs...

. However, this changed after Syria decided to force him out of the country in 1998 when Turkey threatened to invade Syria. After 1998, Syria started to crack down on remaining PKK networks and forged better ties with Turkey.

Death and succession



Assad had originally groomed his oldest son, Bassel al-Assad, as his successor, but Basil (i.e., Bassel) died in a car accident in 1994. Assad then put his second son, Bashar
Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad is the President of Syria and Regional Secretary of the Ba'ath Party. His father Hafez al-Assad ruled Syria for 29 years until his death in 2000. Al-Assad was elected in 2000, re-elected in 2007, unopposed each time.- Early Life :...

, in intensive military and political training, with Bashar becoming a staff colonel in the military of Syria. Despite some concerns of unrest within the government, the succession ultimately went smoothly, and Bashar holds office today.

On 10 June 2000, at the age of 69, Hafez al-Assad died of pulmonary fibrosis
Pulmonary fibrosis
Pulmonary fibrosis is the formation or development of excess fibrous connective tissue in the lungs. It is also described as "scarring of the lung".-Symptoms:Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis are mainly:...

, although some suggest that he died of blood cancer. Hafez al-Assad is buried together with Basil in a mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

 in his hometown of Qardaha.

Further reading


  • Hitti Philip K.
    Philip Khuri Hitti
    Philip Khuri Hitti ,, born in Shimlan, Ottoman Syria, now modern day Lebanon), was a scholar of Islam and introduced the field of Arab culture studies to the United States. He was of Maronite Christian religion....

     (2002). History of Syria Including Lebanon and Palestine, Vol. 2 (ISBN 1-931956-61-8)
  • Firzli, Nicola Y. (1973). Al-Baath wa-Lubnân [Arabic only] ("The Baath and Lebanon"), Beirut: Dar-al-Tali'a Books.
  • Firzli, Nicola Y. (1981). The Iraq-Iran Conflict. Paris: EMA. ISBN 2-86584-002-6
  • Friedman, Thomas (1990, British edition). From Beirut to Jerusalem. HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-00-653070-2 (pp. 76–105)
  • Sallam, Qasim (1980). Al-Baath wal Watan Al-Arabi [Arabic, with French translation] ("The Baath and the Arab Homeland"). Paris: EMA. ISBN 2-86584-003-4
  • Seale, Patrick (1988). Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-06976-5


External links


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