Hafez al-Assad (6 October 1930 – 10 June 2000) was a Syrian politician and military officer who served as President of Syria from 1971 to 2000. He was also Prime Minister of Syria from 1970 to 1971, as well as regional secretary of the regional command of the Syrian regional branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party and secretary general of the National Command of the Ba'ath Party from 1970 to 2000.
Assad participated in the 1963 Syrian coup d'état which brought the Syrian regional branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party to power, and the new leadership appointed him commander of the Syrian Air Force. In February 1966, Assad participated in a second coup, which toppled the traditional leaders of the Ba'ath Party and brought a radical military faction headed by Salah Jadid to power. Assad was appointed defence minister by the new government. Four years later, Assad initiated a third coup which ousted Jadid, and appointed himself as the undisputed leader of Syria.
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- Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united....I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.
- Why should we not boycott the Soviet Union and its supporters inside the country? If we do so, we can force them to review their stand. Either they give us what we want and what is necessary or they will lose our friendship.
- Robert Owen Freedman (1991). Moscow and the Middle East: Soviet policy since the invasion of Afghanistan. CUP Archive. p. 40. ISBN 0521359767. Retrieved on 2010-6-28.
- Strike the enemy’s settlements, turn them into dust, pave the Arab roads with the skulls of Jews.
- Michael B. Oren, Six Days of War [Oxford University Press, 2002], p293
- Death a thousand times to the hired Muslim Brothers, Death a thousand times to the Muslim Brothers, the criminal Brothers, the corrupt Brothers.
- Robert Fisk (16 September 2010). "Robert Fisk: Freedom, democracy and human rights in Syria". THE INDEPENDENT.
Quotes about Assad
- When I asked Bhutto what he thought of Assad, he described the Syrian leader as “The Levanter.” Knowing that, like himself, I was a keen reader of thrillers, the Pakistani Prime Minister knew that I would get the message. However, it was only months later when, having read Eric Ambler’s 1972 novel The Levanter that I understood Bhutto’s one-word pen portrayal of Hafez Al-Assad. In The Levanter the hero, or anti-hero if you prefer, is a British businessman who, having lived in Syria for years, has almost “gone native” and become a man of uncertain identity. He is a bit of this and a bit of that, and a bit of everything else, in a region that is a mosaic of minorities. He doesn’t believe in anything and is loyal to no one. He could be your friend in the morning but betray you in the evening. He has only two goals in life: to survive and to make money.