Bashar al Assad

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Person.png Bashar al-Assad   WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Asma Queen.jpg
Meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace in December 2002
BornBashar Hafez al-Assad
1965-09-11
Damascus, Syria
Alma materDamascus University
ReligionIslam
Parents • Hafez al-Assad
• Anisa Makhlouf
Children • Hafez Zein
• Karim
SpouseAsma al-Assad
PartySyrian Ba'ath Party
President of Syria

Employment.png President of Syria Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
17 July 2000 - Present

Bashar al-Assad is the 19th and current President of Syria, elected first on 17 July 2000 and re-elected in 2007 and 2014.

Having married his British wife Asma in December 2000, and following a visit to Syria by Tony Blair in November 2001,[1] Bashar and Asma al-Assad were invited to pay an official visit to the United Kingdom in December 2002.[2]

By March 2016, five years after the Arab Spring violence first erupted in Syria, some 250,000 Syrians had lost their lives and more than 11 million others forced from their homes as the Syrian Arab Army, supported by Iran's Hezbollah militia and Vladimir Putin's Russia, were battling with those opposed to Bashar al-Assad, including the NATO-backed Free Syrian Army, Al Nusra jihadis, Al Qaeda's White Helmets, the US-backed Kurdish YPG forces and Israeli-backed ISIS militants.[3]

On 7 April 2017, President Donald Trump launched 59 cruise missiles against a Syrian airforce base in response to the alleged sarin gas bombing of Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province on 4 April 2017, which the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported had resulted in the death of more than 80 people. Syria's air defences and electronic counter measures were reported to have destroyed 34 of the cruise missiles.[4] Without providing supporting evidence, Trump said:

"On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack."[5]

Commentators were quick to refute the Trump Administration narrative,[6] and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson went to Moscow on 12 April 2017 to apologise for the cruise missile attack.[7]

On 27 April 2017, Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he and Prime Minister Theresa May agreed that in the event of "another chemical attack by the Assad regime", it would be hard for the UK to refuse any request from the US to join airstrikes:

"If the United States has a proposal to have some sort of action in response to a chemical weapons attack, and if they come to us and ask for our support, whether it is with submarine cruise missiles in the Med or whatever it happens to be, in my view, and I know this is also the view of Prime Minister, it would be very difficult for us to say no,” told the BBC. Asked if any UK strikes against Syria would need approval from the House of Commons (to be dissolved on 3 May for the UK/2017 General Election), Johnson said: “I think that needs to be tested."[8]

Medical background

Born and raised in Damascus, Assad graduated from the medical school of Damascus University in 1988, and started to work as a doctor in the Syrian Army. Four years later, he attended postgraduate studies at the Western Eye Hospital in London, specialising in ophthalmology. In 1994, after his elder brother Bassel al-Assad died 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.

Elected President

On 10 July 2000, Assad was elected as President, succeeding his father, who died in office a month prior. In the 2000 and subsequent 2007 elections, he received 99.7% and 97.6% support, respectively, in referendums on his leadership.[9][10][11]

President Assad, targeted by NATO for regime change

On 16 July 2014, Assad was sworn in for another seven-year term after taking 88.7% of votes in the first contested presidential election in Ba'athist Syria's history.[12][13][14] The election was criticised by media outlets as "tightly controlled" and without independent election monitors, while an international delegation led by allies of Assad issued a statement asserting that the election was "free, fair and transparent".[15][16][17] The Assad government describes itself as secular,[18] while some experts claim that the government exploits sectarian tensions in the country and relies upon the Alawite minority to remain in power.[19][20]

Insurgency

Once seen by the international community as a potential reformer, the United States, the European Union, and the majority of the Arab League called for Assad's resignation from the presidency after he allegedly ordered crackdowns and military sieges on Arab Spring protesters, which led to the Syrian insurgency.[21][22][23] During the insurgency, an inquiry by the United Nations reported finding evidence which implicated Assad in war crimes.[24] In June 2014, Assad was included in a list of war crimes indictments of government officials and rebels handed to the International Criminal Court.[25] Assad has rejected allegations of war crimes, and criticised the American-led intervention in Syria for attempting regime change.[26][27] After the election of Donald Trump, the priority of the United States concerning Assad was initially not to force him out of power, but this policy quickly reversed in the wake of the 2017 Khan Sheikhun chemical attack.[28][29]

 

A Document by Bashar al Assad

TitleDocument typePublication dateSubject(s)Description
Document:Speech by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on 20 August 2017 to the Syrian Diplomatic CorpsSpeech31 August 2017Israel
Iran
Russia
Turkey
Vladimir Putin
China
Syria
Donald Trump
Hezbollah
Hassan Nasrallah
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
The US President is not the maker of policies, but the executor. Therefore, the “Deep State” in the United States does not govern in partnership with the President, but leaves him a small margin.

 

Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Absolute folly for Britain to get involved in SyriaArticle1 March 2018Leo McKinstryTory MP Johnny Mercer, a former soldier, has demanded: “Britain must come to Syria’s aid” and condemned those who oppose “military intervention”.
Document:Destroying SyriaArticle23 January 2018Philip GiraldiFormer CIA officer Philip Giraldi says the United States has zero evidence on the Syrian conflict. Someone should remind the President that similar scenarios did not turn out very well in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
Document:Ed Miliband’s decision to oppose military action against Syria is an action of statesmanship of which Britons will be proudArticle28 August 2013Michael MeacherIt is all very well to rush to war in a surge of moral outrage, it is quite another to spell out clearly what are the war objectives and how exactly they are to be achieved.
Document:Monbiot is not only a hypocrite, but a bully tooArticle12 January 2018Jonathan CookIt is time for George Monbiot’s legion of supporters to call him out. Not only is he a hypocrite, but he is becoming an increasingly dangerous one!
Document:Pictures resurface showing US Secretary John Kerry and President Assad dining in Syria togetherArticle3 September 2013Heather SaulJohn Kerry's volte-face: Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region (2009). President Assad is a "thug" like Adolf Hitler (2013).
Document:President Bashar al Assad - Interview 17 June 2013interview17 June 2013Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung editorial staffAn interview with Syrian President Basher al-Assad
Document:President Bashar al Assad - Interview 3 March 2013interview3 March 2013Sunday Times editorial staff
Document:The Trump Administration’s Syria Gas Attack Narrative Continues to UnravelArticle18 April 2017Michael KriegerUnited States Government: "They Lied About Iraq; They Lied About Libya; They're Lying About Syria."
Document:Trump said to deprecate Netanyahu's intention to bump off AssadArticle1 September 2017Eric ZuesseBetter wait until my fundamentalist VP is in place, Benny boy!


References

  1. "Rifkind attacks Blair's 'unwise' mission to the Middle East"
  2. "Flashback to 2001: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to British Prime Minister Tony Blair: ‘Stop Bombing Afghan Civilians’"
  3. "Syria: The story of the conflict"
  4. "Trump Humilated: Syria Shoots Down 34 of 59 Cruise Missiles, Russia to Upgrade System Soon"
  5. "Trump launches attack on Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles"
  6. "The Trump Administration’s Syria Gas Attack Narrative Continues to Unravel"
  7. "Trump Apologised to Russia for Syria Attack"
  8. "MPs attack Boris Johnson remarks about strikes against Assad"
  9. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/27/AR2007052701117.html
  10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6700021.stm
  11. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/may/28/syria.ianblack%7C}
  12. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-crisis-assad-idUSKBN0FL0NN20140717}
  13. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/04/28/us-syria-crisis-assad-idUSBREA3R0LH20140428?irpc=932
  14. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27419552
  15. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-2648552/Syrias-Assad-wins-presidential-vote-landslide.html%7C
  16. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Foreign-delegation-in-Syria-slams-West-endorses-elections/articleshow/36069541.cms
  17. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10970476/Bashar-al-Assad-sworn-in-for-a-third-term-as-Syrian-president.html
  18. Bronner 2007, p. 63.
  19. http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/Middle%20East%20North%20Africa/Iraq%20Syria%20Lebanon/Syria/151-flight-of-icarus-the-pyd-s-precarious-rise-in-syria.pdf
  20. http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2015/04/18/400360836/syrias-minorities-caught-between-sword-of-isis-and-wrath-of-assad
  21. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-2990998/Syrias-Assad-tightens-grip-four-years-war.html
  22. https://web.archive.org/web/20110512045222/http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/18/bashar-assad-resignation-syria-protest_n_850657.html
  23. http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/22/world/meast/syria-unrest
  24. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25189834
  25. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0EL25020140610?irpc=932
  26. http://www.politico.eu/article/bashar-al-assad-denies-responsibility-for-syrian-war-violence-refugees/
  27. http://www.itv.com/news/2016-10-06/striking-hospitals-is-a-war-crime-syrias-assad-says/
  28. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-usa-haley-idUSKBN1712QL
  29. https://www.axios.com/tillerson-u-s-will-lead-coalition-to-oust-assad-2348075513.html