Bashar al-Assad


Bashar Hafez al-Assad, Syrian president from 2000 and General Secretary of the Ba'ath Party and Regional Secretary of the party's branch in Syrian. He succeeded his father, Hafez al-Assad, who had ruled Syria since 1971. Beginning in 2011, Assad faced a major uprising in Syria that evolved into a civil war.

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  • -Biography

    Bashar Hafez al-Assad was born in Damascus of Syria on 11 September 1965. He is the second son of former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, and his wife, Anisa.
    Bashar al-Assad has served as President since 2000, when he succeeded his father, Hafez al-Assad, who led Syria for 30 years until his death.
    Despite the ongoing Syrian Civil War with Islamic extremists, Bashar al Assad remains a popular and urbane figure within Syria.
    Assad graduated from the medical school of Damascus University in 1988, and started to work as a physician in the army. Four years later, he attended postgraduate studies at the Western Eye Hospital, in London, specializing in ophthalmology. In 1994, after his elder brother Bassel was killed in a car crash, Bashar was recalled to Syria to take over Bassel's role as heir apparent. He entered the military academy, taking charge of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon in 1998. In December 2000, Assad married Asma Assad, born Akhras. Assad was reconfirmed by the national electorate as President of Syria in 2000 and 2007, after the People's Council of Syria had voted to propose the incumbent uncontested each time.
    In 2011, a series of crackdowns and military sieges on Arab Spring protesters lead to the Syrian Civil War. The Syrian opposition, the United States, Canada, the European Union and the majority of the Arab League have subsequently called for al-Assad's resignation from the presidency.
    In October 2011, tens of thousands of Syrians rallied in support of Bashar al-Assad in the capital Damascus. In late April 2014, Assad announced he would run for a third term in Syria's first multi-candidate direct presidential election in decades, amid serious concerns by the European Union, the United States and other countries regarding the legitimacy of this vote and the effect it will have on peace talks with the Syrian Opposition. He was sworn in for his third seven-year term, on July 16, 2014, in the presidential palace in Damascus.
  • +Al-Assad Family Background

    Bashar al-Assad was the third child of Ḥafez al-Assad, a Syrian military officer and member of the Baʿth Party who in 1971 ascended to the presidency via a coup. The Assad family belonged to Syria’s ʿAlawite minority, a Shiite sect that traditionally constitutes about 10 percent of the Syrian population and has played a dominant role in Syrian politics since the 1960s.
    Unlike his brothers, Bassel and Maher, and sister, Bushra, Bashar was quiet and reserved and he lacked interest in politics or the military.
    Father's Bashar 
    Hafez al-Assad was born to a poor family of Alawite background, rose through the Ba'ath Party ranks to take control of the Syrian branch of the Party in the 1970 Corrective Revolution, culminating in his rise to the Syrian presidency. Hafez al-Assad promoted his supporters within the Ba'ath Party, many of whom were of also Alawite background. His last name in Arabic means "the lion".
    Hafez had risen to power through the Syrian military and the minority Alawite political party to take control of Syria in 1970. With much of the military composed of fellow Alawite associates, he was able to integrate the military into his political regime, and ruled Syria for three decades.
    Mother's Bashar
    Aniseh al-Assad, the mother of Bashar al-Assad, In the early 1950s hafez al-Assad married With Him, a distant relative of a powerful family.
    Bassel al-Assad, Bashar Assad's brother
    Bashar grew up quiet and reserved, in the shadow of his more dynamic and outgoing brother, Bassel.
    Bassel al-Assad was the oldest son of former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, and the heir apparent to the Syrian presidency. Bassel was an equestrian champion and held a Ph.D. in military sciences. He died in January 1994 in a car crash while driving his Mercedes through foggy weather en route to Damascus International Airport.
    Sister of Bashar Assad
    Bushra al-Assad, the first child and only daughter of Hafez al-Assad, holds a degree in pharmacy from Damascus University, and was known to have a close relationship with her late father. Bushra al-Assad was the husband of Assef Shawkat.  She fled Syria for the United Arab Emirates as the countrys civil war escalated.
    Bashar's brother-in-law
    Assef Shawkat, the husband of Bushra al-Assad, was Syrias deputy minister of defense from September 2011 until his death in July 2012 in a bomb attack orchestrated by the Free Syrian Army. A powerful figure in the Assad regime throughout his career, Shawkat had been a major intelligence contact for the U.S. following the 9/11 attacks.
    Maher al-Assad, Bashar Assad's brother
    Maher al-Assad, Hafez al-Assads youngest son, is the commander of the Republican Guard and Syrias Fourth Armored Division. A powerful and long-feared figure in the Assad regime, he has been accused by Israels Channel 2 TV of orchestrating the deadly chemical attack that is said to have killed more than 1,400 people on Aug, 21.
    Majd al-Assad, Bashar Assad's brother
    Majd al-Assad remained largely out of the public eye throughout his life, so very little is known about the younger brother of Bashar al-Assad.  Syria's official news agency, SANA, reports that he died in 2009 after a long illness at the age of 43.
  • +Education

    Bashar received his primary and secondary education in the Arab-French al-Hurriya School in Damascus. He at 14 joined the Baath Youth Movement.
    Educated at the Arab-French al Hurriya School in Damascus, Bashar learned to speak fluent English and French. He graduated from high school in 1982, and went on to study medicine at the University of Damascus, graduating in 1988.
    He then served as an army doctor at the Tishreen military hospital outside of Damascus and in 1992 moved to London to continue his studies.
    Four years later, he went to the United Kingdom to begin postgraduate training in ophthalmology at the Western Eye Hospital, part of the St Mary's group of teaching hospitals in London.


  • +Entering a political scene

    Bashar was a medical student, and had no intentions of entering a political life. His father had been grooming Bassel as the future president. But in 1994, Bassel was killed in an automobile accident, and Bashar was recalled to Damascus. Bashar's life would soon radically change.
    He entered the military academy, taking charge of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon in 1998.
  • +Military Education

    In 1994 his older brother, Bassil, who had been designated his father’s heir apparent, was killed in an automobile accident. Bashar, despite his lack of military and political experience, was called back to Syria, where he was groomed to take his brother’s place. To bolster his standing with the country’s powerful military and intelligence agencies, he trained at a military academy and eventually gained the rank of colonel in the elite Republican Guard.
    During this time, he served as an advisor to his father, hearing complaints and appeals from citizens, and led a campaign against corruption. As a result, he was able to remove many potential rivals.
  • +Marriage

    Bashar Al-Assad is married to Asma Assad, In December 2000.
    Biography of Asma Assad
    Asma Assad, the Bashar’s wife, She’s a London-born, well-educated former banker who certainly has a political influence on her husband.
    Asma Assad was Born in London in 1975, and grew up in a modest neighborhood in Acton, a sleepy district in the west London suburbs. Her parents are of Sunni Syrian heritage, originally hailing from Homs.
    Her father Fawaz Akhras is a prominent cardiologist at Cromwell Hospital in London. Known as “Emma” during her U.K. upbringing. Studied computer science at King’s College in London, and worked as an investment banker for JP Morgan in New York, Paris and London.
    The Marriage Story of Bashar and Asma
    Bashar met his wife, Asma,in the early 1990s while studying in Britain. while bashar returned to Syria to be groomed for the country’s presidency after his brother, heir apparent Bassil, was killed in a car crash.
    Married Bashar Assad in 2000 after he was installed as Syria’s president and moved to Syria. The couple has two sons, Hafez (4th December 2001) and Karim (16th December 2004), and a daughter, Zein (5th November 2003).
  • +Presidency

    Bashar al-Assad had no intention of entering political life, let alone becoming president of Syria. But a tragic death and a calculating father saw to it that he would.
    Hafez al-Assad died of a heart attack after 29 years in office on June 10, 2000. 
    After his death, the national legislature approved a constitutional amendment lowering the minimum age for the president from 40 to 34, so that Bashar could be eligible for the office.
    On June 18 Assad was appointed secretary-general of the ruling Baʿth Party, and two days later the party congress nominated him as its candidate for the presidency; the national legislature approved the nomination.
    On July 10, Ten days after Hafez's death, Bashar al-Assad was chosen for a seven-year term as president of Syria. In a public referendum, running unopposed, he received 97 percent of the vote. He was also selected commander in chief of the military.
    Political stances
    in international affairs, Bashar was confronted with many of the issues his father faced: a volatile relationship with Israel, military occupation in Lebanon, tensions with Turkey over water rights, and the insecure feeling of being a marginal influence in the Middle East. Most analysts contend that Bashar continued his father's foreign policy, providing direct support to militant groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, though Syria officially denied this.
    Assad maintained his father’s hard-line stance in Syria’s decades-long conflict with Israel, continuing to demand the return of the Golan Heights and giving support to Palestinian and Lebanese militant groups. Relations with the United States worsened after Assad denounced the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Nationalist and anti-Western rhetoric soon became a standard part of Assad’s speeches.
    Public reaction to the election of President Bashar al-Assad
    Although many Syrians objected to the transfer of power from father to son, Bashar’s ascent engendered some optimism both in Syria and abroad. His youth, education, and exposure to the West seemed to offer the possibility of a departure from what had been the status quo: an authoritarian state, policed by a network of powerful overlapping security and intelligence agencies, and a stagnant state-run economy reliant on shrinking oil reserves. In his inaugural speech, Assad affirmed his commitment to economic liberalization and vowed to carry out some political reform, but he rejected Western-style democracy as an appropriate model for Syrian politics.


  • +Bashar efforts to change the situation in Syria

    When Bashar took the reins of government, Syria's economy was in terrible shape. Lost were the decades of support from the Soviet Union after its collapse in 1991. A serious recession in the mid-1990s was exacerbated by Syria squandering its oil revenues on its second rate army. However, by 2001, Syria was showed many of the signs of a modern society—cell phones, satellite television, trendy restaurants and Internet cafes.
    Damascus Spring
    Assad announced that he would not support policies that might threaten the dominance of the Baʿth Party, but he slightly loosened government restrictions on freedom of expression and the press and released several hundred political prisoners. Those early gestures contributed to a brief period of relative openness, dubbed the “Damascus Spring” by some observers, in which public political discussion forums emerged and calls for political reform were tolerated. Within months, however, Assad’s regime changed course, using threats and arrests to extinguish pro-reform activism. Afterward Assad emphasized that economic reforms would have to precede political reforms.
    In his inaugural address, Mr Assad promised wide-ranging reforms, including modernising the economy, fighting corruption and launching "our own democratic experience".
    It was not long before the authorities released hundreds of political prisoners and allowed the first independent newspapers for more than three decades to begin publishing. A group of intellectuals pressing for democratic reforms were even permitted to hold public political meetings and publish statements. The "Damascus Spring", as it became known, was short-lived.
    Mandatory retirement Guard members
    By 2005 Assad had used a series of cabinet reorganizations and forced retirements to sideline members of the “old guard”—powerful government and military officials held over from his father’s administration. They were replaced by younger officials, and many of the most powerful security positions went to relatives of Assad. However, even after this consolidation of Assad’s power, his reform initiatives remained tentative and largely cosmetic. Economic liberalization mainly benefited a politically connected elite without helping the many Syrians who depended on the faltering public sector for employment, services, and subsidies.
    Other efforts
    Al-Assad signs a decree establishing diplomatic relations between Syria and Lebanon, in October 14, 2008.
    Lifts the country's 48-year-old state of emergency. He also abolishes the Higher State Security Court and issues a decree "regulating the right to peaceful protest, as one of the basic human rights guaranteed by the Syrian Constitution", in April 21, 2011.
  • +Accused of involvement in the assassination of Lebanese premier

    Accused of involvement in the assassination of Lebanese premier
    Though a gradual withdrawal from Lebanon began in 2000, it was quickly hastened after Syria was accused of involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri. 
    In early 2005, after the assassination of Lebanon’s former prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri, Assad—under pressure from Western and Arab nations—committed to the removal of Syrian troops and intelligence services from Lebanon, where Syrian forces had been stationed since a 1976 military intervention.
    The accusation led to a public uprising in Lebanon, as well as international pressure to remove all troops. Since then, relations with the West and many Arab states have deteriorated, and it seems that Syria's only friend in the Middle East is Iran.
  • +President Bashar Assad's Second round

    In May 29, 2007, Assad was reelected by a nearly unanimous (97% of the vote) majority to a second term as president through Elections .
    In his second term Assad took some tentative steps toward ending his country’s international isolation, seeking to mend relationships with regional powers, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
  • +Assad stance toward Iran's nuclear program

    Al-Assad and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hold a summit meeting in Damascus in January 2006 . Al-Assad declares his support for Iran's nuclear program.


  • +America sanctions against Damascus and Bashar

    May 18, 2011,The United States imposes sanctions against al-Assad and six other senior Syrian officials. The Treasury Department details the sanctions by saying, "As a result of this action, any property in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which the individuals listed in the Annex have an interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them."
    August 18, 2011, Both the United States and the European Union call for al-Assad to step down. U.S. authorities also impose new economic sanctions against Damascus, freezing Syrian government assets in the United States, barring Americans from making new investments in Syria and prohibiting any U.S. transactions relating to Syrian petroleum products, among other things.
    March 23, 2012, European Union sanctions are placed on al-Assad's wife, Asma, his mother, sister and sister-in-law. Their EU assets are frozen and a travel ban prevents them from traveling to any EU country. London-born Asma al-Assad cannot be barred entry into Britain despite the EU ban. The sanctions cover 12 other family members also.
  • +Arab-Turkish intervention in domestic issues Syria

    Arab-Turkish intervention in domestic issues Syria
    November 14, 2011, Jordan's King Abdullah calls on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign.
    November 20, 2011, In an interview with a British newspaper, al-Assad warns other countries that military intervention in Syria would have "very dire" repercussions and that his country "will not back down" in the face of international pressure and condemnation.
    November 22, 2011, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls on al-Assad to resign.
  • +President Bashar Assad's Third round

    In June 3, 2014,Bashar Is re-elected with 88.7% of the vote in Syria's first election since the start of civil war in 2011.


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