Maher al-Assad
Syrian general
Maher al-Assad
Maher al-Assad is a Syrian general and commander of the Republican Guard and the army's elite Fourth Armored Division, which together with Syria's secret police form the core of the country's security forces. He is thought by some to be the second most powerful man in Syria after his brother Bashar, the current President.
Biography
Maher al-Assad's personal information overview.
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News
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Syria's Assad: Early to say if he'll run again
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad said it's still too early to say whether he'll run for re-election next year, but that he would refrain from seeking a third term — if he feels that's what most Syrians want him to do. Assad, who spoke in an interview with Turkey's private Halk TV, made no mention of his government's role in the civil war that has killed at least 100,000 people so far, instead blaming foreign fighters and governments, including Turkey's, for the bloodshed. The interview, broadcast late Thursday, was the latest in a series the Syrian president has given to foreign media as part of a charm offensive in the wake of the Russian-brokered deal that averted the threat of a U.S. airstrike over an August chemical weapons attack, which killed hundreds of people. Assad used the interview to attack Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, warning Ankara will pay "a high price" for allowing foreign fighters to enter Syria from its territory to fight the Syrian gove ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Maher al-Assad: The ruthless one
CNN - over 3 years
The younger brother of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Maher al-Assad, is described as a brutal "family enforcer."
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CNN article
President's Brother Key to Syria Regime Survival
ABC News - over 3 years
Largely unseen, Syrian president's younger brother Maher Assad key to regime's survival     
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ABC News article
The most ruthless al-Assad?
CNN - over 3 years
He's the strongman behind the strongman: Maher al-Assad.
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CNN article
John Kerry gives Syria week to hand over chemical weapons or face attack
Guardian (UK) - over 3 years
US secretary of state tells London press conference with William Hague that US intelligence blames Assad regime for gas attack The US secretary of state has said that President Bashar al-Assad has one week to hand over his entire stock of chemical weapons to avoid a military attack. But John Kerry added that he had no expectation that the Syrian leader would comply. Kerry also said he had no doubt that Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack in east Damascus on 21 August, saying that only three people are responsible for the chemical weapons inside Syria – Assad, one of his brothers and a senior general. He said the entire US intelligence community was united in believing Assad was responsible. Kerry was speaking on Monday alongside the UK foreign secretary, William Hague, who was forced to deny that he had been pushed to the sidelines by the House of Commons decision 10 days ago to reject the use of UK force in Syria. The US Senate is due to vote this week on whethe ...
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Guardian (UK) article
The Sound of a Missile
CNN - over 3 years
     The ongoing Syria situation has brought the world in to debate. The grand countries are choosing sides, promises are made and threats are fired. Behind the approach of United States, the delicate position of Turkey and the curse of the Assad family, there is a humane scene that is disappearing in vain. This article reflects what we have and what we are losing.     One of the main players in Syria tragedy is United States; decision of an intervention has pushed US in to the lead role. As the acts start to unfold, I believe that the interference should not be military focused. United States working diplomatically with the countries that support Assad’s departure and creating a financial fund to assist the reconstruction of Syria after this period would benefit Syria’s diplomatic advance in the long run. After giving up substantial casualties in Libya during the 1980s and the failure of democratization attempts in the last decade, United States cannot afford another eastern warfare ...
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CNN article
Group: Syrian army bases in capital become prisons
Fox News - almost 4 years
A Syrian human rights group says a key military unit loyal to President Bashar Assad is running secret prisons holding hundreds of suspected regime opponents. The Syria-based Violations Documentation Center said in a report Monday that the regime's 4th Division runs detention centers in its bases in and around Damascus. The division is commanded by Maher Assad, the president's younger brother. It is considered a pillar of loyalist forces and is charged with defending the capital. The Center has tracked the dead, wounded and missing since the start of the uprising in March 2011. The claims could not be independently verified. Syria's government rarely comments on claims by rights groups. Other rights groups say tens of thousands of opposition members of their families have been detained during the two-year conflict.
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Fox News article
Syria envoy warns country could turn into Somalia
Fox News - over 4 years
The U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria warned Tuesday that the country could become another Somalia — where al-Qaida-linked militants and warlords battled for decades after the ouster of a dictator — if the civil war is not ended soon. Battles between regime forces and Syrian rebels left more than 140 people dead across Syria on Tuesday, while the brother of Syria's parliament speaker was gunned down in Damascus — the latest victim of a wave of assassinations targeting high-ranking supporters of President Bashar Assad's regime. Among the dead were at least 13 people who died in a series of explosions in the capital Damascus, targeting impoverished districts of the capital. Dozens others were wounded, activists said. The violence aroused new concern about the faltering diplomatic efforts to try to end the conflict, with the U.N. political chief warning that the Syria crisis risks "exploding outward" into Lebanon, Turkey and Israel. ...
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Fox News article
Syrian Victims Seek Recourse In U.S Courts Against Syrian Arab Republic Officials
Yahoo News - over 4 years
WASHINGTON, July 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) re-filed its civil action on behalf of plaintiffs directly impacted by the violent crackdown used by the Syrian Army and other government forces against anti-government protesters and ordinary civilians.The defendants include: Syrian Arab Republic; State Military Intelligence Service; Ali Mumluk; Maher Al-Assad; Colonel Hafez Makhlouf; Jamil Hassan; Atif Najib; Ashef Shawkat (now deceased); Major General Abdul Fattah Qudseyyah; Major General Rustom Ghazali; Anas Alswaid and Bashar Al-Jafari. ...
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Yahoo News article
Analysis: Attack on Damascus "fortress" rocks Assad
Yahoo News - over 4 years
BEIRUT (Reuters) - An audacious and deadly attack on President Bashar al-Assad's security cabinet is a major psychological and strategic setback that exposes a weakened Syrian establishment unable to protect its innermost centers of power. The damage is compounded by Assad's failure to in speak in public to rally his forces. State television only showed footage of him swearing in his new defense minister, the first images of the president since the bomb attack. Assad's younger brother Maher al-Assad, commander of the army's elite units, has however remained out of sight. ...
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Yahoo News article
Assad's brother, the muscle behind the throne
Yahoo News - over 4 years
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Maher al-Assad asked his own grade-school daughter what she had planned to do in class that day. The girl answered her father with trademark fierceness of Syria's ruling family. "Break heads, is what she answered him," his sister-in-law Majd Jadan told Reuters from exile in the United States. "He even taught his little kids brutality." Jadan fled to America two years ago, after an argument with Maher, younger brother of President Bashar al-Assad and the man most Syrians say is the enforcer of the Assad clan's grip on Syria. ...
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Yahoo News article
Syrian opposition: Thousands of political detainees held in military centers
IMRA - almost 5 years
Syrian opposition: Thousands of political detainees held in military centers 13/05/2012 By Paula Astatih http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=29612 Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat- According to opposition forces, the Syrian regime, after signing its agreement with UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, has transferred most of its political detainees from prisons to military centers, which the international observers currently deployed in the country are not permitted to visit, within the framework of what the regime claims to be respect for Syrian sovereignty and national security. In this regard, forces in the Syrian opposition are organizing media campaigns to pressure and urge the UN observers to enquire about the fate of these detainees, who are now classified as “forcibly disappeared persons” because their families and relatives know nothing of their whereabouts or whether they are dead or alive. Radwan Ziadeh, a spokesman for the Syrian National Council ( ...
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IMRA article
Detained Syrian human rights defenders report torture
Amnesty International - almost 5 years
Headline Title:  Detained Syrian human rights defenders report torture 27 April 2012 Concern is growing for three human rights defenders being held incommunicado at a military base near Damascus, amid reports they may be facing ongoing torture, Amnesty International said. Hani Zitani, Abd al-Rahman Hamada and Mansour al-Omari are being held in the town of al-Mo’damiya outside the capital, at a base run by the Fourth Armoured Division, under the de facto command of the Syrian president’s brother Maher al-Assad.   Another three of their colleagues detained with them there from 19 March until 22 April were brought before a military court on Sunday, where they alleged that Fourth Armoured Division officials had tortured, including by beatings, all six men during that time. The six men – prisoners of conscience accused of “having an illegal recording w ...
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Amnesty International article
World War III in the Making: Can Russia and China Stop a Strike on Iran?
News Junkie Post - about 5 years
Regime Change in Syria as a Preliminary Stage for an Attack on Iran As the civil war in Syria intensifies, an intense diplomatic battle is on the way world wide between two blocks. On one hand are Israel, the United States and its European vassals, the UK, France and Germany and on the other hand are Russia and to a lesser extent China. The Western block is pushing for regime change in Syria on the ground of the humanitarian crisis provoked by al-Assad’s brutal repression of the opposition. But humanitarian concerns are, just like in the case of Libya, merely a smoke screen hiding a much darker agenda. There is no point in contesting that al-Assad is a dictator, but the civil war in Syria could have been avoided if pressure would have been put on Bashar al-Assad not to let his blood thirsty and border line lunatic brother Maher al-Assad be in charge of the brutal crackdown. The pressure on Bashar al-Assad to get rid off Maher should have been put on him months ago by the long term ...
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News Junkie Post article
Syrian TV Station Accuses Al Jazeera of Fabricating Uprising - New York Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Addounia TV is owned by Mohamed Hamsho, who is the brother-in-law of Maher al Assad, the commander of Syria's Republican Guard and the brother of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. In August, Addounia TV broadcast dramatized footage of the United
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Google News article
Échapper à la Mumana'a et à la contre-révolution américano-saoudienne : Syrie ... - Info-Palestine
Google News - over 5 years
Mais aujourd'hui, l'homme le plus riche de Syrie est Mr Mohamed Hamsho (le beau-frère de Maher al-Assad), un ingénieur et homme d'affaires milliardaire qui a fait campagne aux élections précédentes pour un siège de travailleur
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Google News article
Assad als Witzfigur - derStandard.at
Google News - over 5 years
Neben Präsident Bashar al-Assad werden auch dessen Bruder Maher al-Assad (in Miltiäruniform), der iranische Revolutionsführer Ajatollah Khamenei, der iranische Präsident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad und Assads Cousin Rami Machluf aufs Korn genommen
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Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Maher al-Assad
    FORTIES
  • 2014
    Age 46
    A photo of Maher Al-Assad with singer George Wassouf from June 2014 was published by a Lebanese TV presenter, confirming that he is alive.
    More Details Hide Details Maher is married to Manal (née al-Jadaan) with whom he has two daughters and one son. Maher, like his brother Bashar, is married outside of the Alawite sect to a Sunni woman. Maher is considered by those who know him too hot-tempered to be an effective ruler. In addition, Maher caused his sister-in-law, Majd al-Jadaan, to leave Syria in August 2008 due to ongoing disagreements.
  • 2012
    Age 44
    However, on 10 October 2012, Abdullah Omar, a defected Syrian journalist, told CNN that Maher was treated in Russia but returned to the presidential palace, where al-Omar said that Maher had lost his left leg in the bombing and also the use of his left arm.
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    In August 2012, Saudi newspaper Al-Watan claimed that Assad was willing to step down and that his brother Maher had lost his legs in the 18 July 2012 Damascus bombing, allegedly quoting the Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov. The information was immediately denied in Russian media.
    More Details Hide Details The daily then released an audio of the claimed conversation, but the voice reportedly did not sound like Bogdanov's. Other sources, including a Western diplomat, said they had heard Maher lost a leg. A July 2013 report by a pro-government websites stated that Maher was commanding troops in the Aleppo and Homs theatre of operations. On 20 August 2012, rumors surfaced that Maher, who had not been seen since the 18 July 2012 Damascus bombing, succumbed to his injuries after RT reported that a senior Syrian military official died in a hospital in Moscow. After the report was released, Syrian state media denied it was true. A member of the pro-opposition Syrian National Council, Mohammad Mahzeh, claimed he and other members were 100% certain it was true and Maher was the Syrian military official who died in Moscow.
    After a four-day siege by the opposition forces from 18 to 22 July 2012, the 4th Armoured Division, commanded by Maher Assad, swept through three rebel-held districts of Damascus.
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    Maher Assad's role became more significant following the assassination of the Syrian defense minister, high-ranking security officials and Assef Shawkat on 18 July 2012.
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  • 2011
    Age 43
    On 23 June 2011, the EU placed sanctions on Maher's office manager, Khalid Qaddur, for providing funding to the government which allowed violence against demonstrators during the Syrian uprising.
    More Details Hide Details Similar sanctions were also placed on Ra'if al-Quwatli, another business associate of Maher.
    On 2 December 2011, Maher was also placed on a travel ban.
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    Two weeks later, on 10 May 2011, the EU sanctioned Maher for being the principal overseer of violence against demonstrators during the Syrian uprising.
    More Details Hide Details The Arab League issued a list of nineteen Syrian officials banned from travelling to Arab countries and whose assets were being frozen by those countries. Among those named were Assad's brother, Maher Assad, his cousin and telecom magnate Rami Makhlouf, as well as military and intelligence figures.
    The United States on 27 April 2011 placed sanctions on Maher for being a facilitator of human rights violations in Syria.
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    Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in mid-March 2011, Maher's troops have played a key role in violently suppressing protests in the southern city of Daraa, the coastal city of Banias, the central province of Homs and the northern province of Idlib.
    More Details Hide Details The Los Angeles Times reported that video footage existed, which activists and observers claimed showing Maher personally shooting at unarmed protesters, who were demanding the fall of the Assad government in the Barzeh suburb of Damascus. Defecting soldiers under Maher's command reported they were given orders by him to use deadly force against unarmed protesters. One defecting sniper reported that during the protests in Deraa: "We were ordered to aim for the head or heart from the beginning. We were not given specific numbers but told to kill as many as possible as long as there were protests." Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stated that Maher's actions during the Syrian uprising approached "savagery", and he pressured Bashar Assad to remove Maher from command of the military and to send him into exile.
  • 2008
    Age 40
    In 2008, Maher was in charge of putting down a prison revolt in Saidnaya, where 400 soldiers had been kidnapped by the prisoners.
    More Details Hide Details Around 25 people out of 10,000 inmates were killed during the crackdown. Human rights groups had unverified video footage that purportedly shows Maher taking photographs with his mobile phone of the dismembered bodies of prisoners after the riot. Maher's sister-in-law, Majd al-Jadaan, who lives in exile in Washington DC, claims that the individual in the video footage is Maher.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2005
    Age 37
    Both Shawkat and Maher al-Assad were mentioned in a leaked draft version of the Mehlis report as suspects in the 2005 murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.
    More Details Hide Details According to the draft version, "one witness of Syrian origin but resident in Lebanon, who claims to have worked for the Syrian intelligence services in Lebanon, stated that approximately two weeks after the adoption of Security Council resolution 1559, Maher Al Assad, Assef Shawkat, Hassan Khalil, Bahjat Suleyman and Jamil Al Sayyed decided to assassinate Rafik Hariri."
  • 2000
    Age 32
    In June 2000, Maher was elected to the Central Committee of the Ba'ath Party's Syrian Regional Branch and subsequently was influential in persuading his brother Bashar during the first few months of his rule to put an end to the political openness of the short lived Damascus Spring.
    More Details Hide Details Three years later Maher Assad met in Jordan with Israeli businessman Eitan Bentzur, a former director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and offered to reopen peace negotiations with Israel without preconditions. The offer was rejected by Arial Sharon, the Prime Minister of Israel. Maher often appeared in public with Bashar and is said to be one of his closest advisers. He competed with Assef Shawkat, who was married to his sister Bushra al-Assad and was head of military intelligence, for influence in the Assad government. Maher was opposed to Shawkat's marriage to his sister Bushra, and had Shawkat imprisoned on several occasions to keep them apart. In October 1999, he was rumoured to have shot Shawkat in the stomach during an argument. Assef survived, and the two were said to have good relations then. Bashar, Maher, and Assef were said to form the inner circle of power in the Assad government.
    After the death of his father in 2000, he was promoted from major to lieutenant colonel.
    More Details Hide Details Maher subsequently became commander of the Republican Guard, a 10,000 strong unit whose loyalty is said to be guaranteed by the significant share of revenue that it receives from the oil fields in the Deir ez-Zor region, and the commander of the army's elite Fourth Armored Division which was once his uncle Rifaat Assad's Defense companies.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1994
    Age 26
    After Basil's death in 1994, Maher assumed command of a brigade in the Republican Guard and distinguished himself as a good commander.
    More Details Hide Details His time as brigade commander allowed him to gain valuable military experience and build personal ties with his officers.
    When Bassel died in a car crash in 1994, Maher was mentioned as a possible successor to Hafez, but in the end, Bashar succeeded his father even though he lacked the military experience and political ambition.
    More Details Hide Details It was speculated that Maher's reputation as a hot-tempered person influenced the decision in favour of Bashar. Maher al-Assad operates a number of different business projects in Lebanon with his cousin Rami Makhlouf. There are reports of tensions between the two, which is considered why parts of the Makhlouf business were shifted in 2005 to Dubai. Shmuel Bar argues that the transfers were made because the Makhloufs were worried that they were going to be made the scapegoats of an anti-corruption propaganda campaign. Maher for a while controlled online media site Cham Press. On 23 May 2011, the EU placed sanctions for providing funding to the government which allowed violence against demonstrators during the Syrian civil war. According to Fortune Magazine, Maher benefited from the billion dollar money laundering operation at the Lebanese al-Madina bank which collapsed in 2003 at the start of the Iraq War. Al Madina was used to launder kickback money of Iraqi officials and their partners in the illegal gaming of the UN's oil-for-food programme. Sources put the amount transferred and laundered through al-Madina at more than $1 billion, with a 25 percent commission going to Syrian officials and their Lebanese allies; among the recipients of this money was Bashar Assad's brother Maher.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1967
    Born
    Maher al-Assad was born on 8 December 1967, the youngest child of Anisa Makhlouf and Hafez al-Assad.
    More Details Hide Details He was just two years old when his father became President of Syria. Like the other children in the al-Assad family, he was raised out of the public spotlight and trained in Syria. Maher went to the Academy of Freedom School for his secondary education and then studied business administration at Damascus University. Following university he pursued a career in the military like his older brother Bassel.
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