Hafez al-Assad

President of Syria From 1970%e2%80%932000
Born Oct 6, 1930
Hometown Qardaha
Died Jun 10, 2000
Death Place Damascus
Political Party Arab Ba'ath Movement
Religion Alawi
Nationality Syrian People

Hafez al-Assad was a Syrian statesman, politician and general serving as Prime Minister between 1970 and 1971 and then President of Syria between 1971 and 2000. He also served as Secretary of the Syrian Regional Command of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party and General Secretary of the National Command of the Ba'ath Party from 1970 to 2000 and Minister of Defence from 1966 to 1972. Before Assad came to power, coups and counter coups were endemic in Syrian politics.… Read More

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Discover the family history of Hafez al-Assad.

Hafez al-Assad
Hafez al-Assad


News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Hafez al-Assad.

  • Man Arrested After Murder Of Assad Critic In London
    Yahoo News - Apr 13, 2015
  • Jesse Jackson Offers To Go After North Korea Rescinds Invite On Bae Release
    Chicago Times - Feb 10, 2014
  • The Source Of Assad's Staying Power
    Huffington Post - Nov 06, 2013
  • 40 Years Later: A Look Back At The Yom Kippur War
    Huffington Post - Oct 07, 2013


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Hafez al-Assad.


1930 Birth Born on October 6, 1930.
1936 5 Years Old In 1936, he was one of 80 Alawi notables who signed a letter addressed to the French Prime Minister stating that "Alawi people rejected attachment to Syria and wished to stay under French protection." … Read More


1946 15 Years Old These parties, that also supported secularism, were the Syrian Communist Party, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, and the Ba'ath Party; Assad joined the last one in 1946, while some of his friends were also members of the Nationalist Party.The Ba'ath Party, also called the Renaissance Party, was a Pan-Arabic socialist party. … Read More
1949 18 Years Old He was an organizer and recruiter, the head of his school's student affair committee between 1949 and 1951, and later President of the Union of Syrian Students. … Read More
1950 19 Years Old 1 More Event
After his graduation from high school, Assad wanted to be a medical doctor but his father could not pay for his study at the Jesuit University of St. Joseph in Beirut. Instead, in 1950 he decided to join the Syrian Armed Forces. … Read More


1954 23 Years Old In 1954, the military split in a revolt against Adib Shishakli. … Read More
Assad graduated in 1955, after which he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Syrian Air Force. … Read More
1957 26 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1957, Assad became squadron commander and was sent the Soviet Union for training to fly theMiG-17. … Read More


1961 - 1962 2 More Events
After the coup was over, Assad was promoted to major and subsequently to lieutenant-colonel, and by the end of 1963 he was put in charge of the Syrian Air Force. … Read More
1965 34 Years Old However, when Umran, the senior member of the Military Committee, changed his allegiance to Aflaq, Salah al-Din al-Bitar, Munif al-Razzaz and the civilian leadership in 1965, the power struggle which had lasted since taking power, the remaining members of the Military Committee launched the 1966 Syrian coup d'état and overthrew the civilian Ba'athist leadership. … Read More
1967 - 1969 2 More Events
1970 39 Years Old 1 More Event
…  Assad then engaged in a protracted power struggle with Salah al-Jadid, chief of staff of the armed forces, Assad's political mentor, and effective leader of Syria, until finally in November 1970 Assad seized control, arresting Jadid and other members of the government.


He became prime minister and in 1971 was elected president.
In 1973 Assad changed Syria's Constitution in order to guarantee equal status for women and enable non-Muslims to become president; the latter change was reverted under pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood. … Read More
1974 43 Years Old Assad also made significant gains in his relations with the superpowers. In 1974, he embarrassed the Soviet Union by negotiating with the United States regarding the military disengagement in the Golan Heights, and in 1976 he ignored Soviet pressure and requests to refrain from invading Lebanon and later to refrain from attacking the PLO and the Lebanese radical forces. … Read More
1976 45 Years Old The PLO, experiencing Assad's blows in 1976, distanced itself from him and consolidated its autonomous infrastructure in southern Lebanon, paradoxically with Israel's indirect assistance, since Israel firmly objected to the deployment of Syrian troops south of the Sidon-Jazzin "red line". … Read More
1977 46 Years Old …  In 1977, his agents assassinated Kamal Jumblatt, the Druze leftist leader, and in 1982 they killed Bachir Gemayel, the newly elected Maronite president, both of whom had resisted Assad's attempts to dominate Lebanon.
1979 48 Years Old His brief unity talks with Iraqi leaders collapsed in mid 1979; and with Iraq's 1980 involvement in the Iraq-Iran War, Iraq also effectively withdrew from the conflict against Israel. … Read More
In 1980, Assad signed Syria's Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union. … Read More


1982 51 Years Old 1 More Event
Political dissenters were eliminated by arrest, torture, and execution, and when the Muslim Brotherhood mounted a rebellion in Hama in 1982, Assad suppressed it, killing between 10,000 - 25,000 people. … Read More
Using similar tactics, Assad brought about the abolition of the 1983 Lebanon-Israel agreement, and through guerrilla warfare carried out by proxy in 1985, Assad indirectly caused the Israeli Defense Forces to withdraw from southern Lebanon. … Read More
1984 - 1986 3 More Events
1987 56 Years Old 1 More Event
After 1987, because of internal changes and a political crisis, the Soviet Union was unable to support Syria. … Read More


1991 60 Years Old 1 More Event
…  He agreed to join the United States-led coalition against Iraq in the Gulf War in 1991. … Read More
1992 - 1993 2 More Events
1998 67 Years Old …  Facing a real threat of military confrontation with Turkey, Syria signed the Adana Memorandum in October 1998, which designated the PKK as a terrorist organization and required Syria to evict it from its territory. … Read More
However, when King Hussein died in February 1999, Assad attended his funeral, after which relations between Syria and Jordan started to improve. Hussein's successor, King Abdullah visited Syria in April 1999, which was described as a "turning point" in the relationship between two countries. … Read More
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