A Syrian president, who was a minister of defence then he overthrew the role in 1970  and ruled Syria with iron and fire and killed thousands of civilians in many massacres until his death in 2000.

Birth and Upbringing:

Hafez Al-Assad was born on the sixth of October in 1930 in the town of Qardaha in Latakia province for Alawite family.


He graduated from the military academy in Homs and the Air academy in Aleppo and served as commander of the Air forces then minister of defence before assuming power in the coup he led in 1970.

Political Experience:

The name of Al-Assad in the Arab World is related to the Steadfastness and Confrontation Front which included Syria, Libya and Algeria in response to the peace negotiations between Egypt and Israeli occupation.

He supported the Lebanese militia against Israeli invasion in southern Lebanon, which forced Israel to withdraw from Lebanon in May 2000.

During his reign, Syria restored the relations with the United States of America to resolve the outstanding issues with Israel as Washington played a mediating role in the Syrian-Israeli peace negotiations.

Henry Kissinger, the US Secretary of State under President Nixon, says of Assad that he "had extraordinary intelligence, a sense of humor, and was also cruel and ruthless, and possessed by feelings of nationalism."

Hafez Al-Assad accomplished many reforms, but he made Syria a huge prison and fought everyone who refused his rule, released his security services to punish his opponent, and placed Syria in an international isolation like North Korea and Iran.

The most famous massacre in Syria history is Hama Massacre in 1981 where more than 40.000 people were killed by Hafez Al-Assad and his brother Rifaat Al-Assad, the commander of the Defense Companies.

His Death:

Hafez al-Assad died on June 10, 2000 at the age of seventy, and was succeeded by his son Bashar al-Assad.