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Hafez al-Assad

Personal data
Date of birth6 October 1930
Place of birthQardaha, French Mandate of Syria
Date of death10 June 2000(age 69)
Place of deathDamascus, Syria
Political partyBa'ath Party (NPF)
SpouseAniseh (née Makhluf)
President of Syria
In office22 February 1971 - 10 June 2000
Prime ministerAbdul Rahman Kleifawi
Mahmoud al-Ayyubi
Muhammad Ali al-Halabi
Abdul Rauf al-Kasm
Mahmoud Zuabi
Muhammad Mustafa Mero
Succeeded byHalim Khaddam (Acting)
Preceded byAhmad al-Khatib
Prime Minister of Syria
In office21 November 1970 - 3 April 1971
PresidentAhmad al-Khatib
Succeeded byAbdul Rahman Kleifawi
Preceded byNureddin al-Atassi
Minister of Defense
In office1966 - 1972
Succeeded byMustafa Tlass
Preceded byMuhammad Umran

     Home | Office Holder | Hafez al-Assad

Hafez al-Assad ( , 6 October 1930 � 10 June 2000) was the President of Syria for three decades. Assad's rule was praised for consolidating the power of the central government after decades of coups and counter-coups, such as Operation Wappen in 1957 conducted by the Eisenhower administration and preceding covert failures, and continued foreign meddling thereafter. His rule brought modern changes, including the 1973 constitution which guaranteed women's equal status in society. Assad attempted to industrialize the country, and it was opened up to foreign markets. He invested in infrastructure, education, medicine, and urban construction. Literacy was increased, oil was discovered, and the economy expanded.

He also drew criticism for repression of his own people, in particular for ordering the Hama massacre of 1982, which has been described as "the single deadliest act by any Arab government against its own people in the modern Middle East". Human Rights groups have detailed thousands of extrajudicial executions he committed against opponents of his regime.

He was succeeded by his son, current president Bashar al-Assad, in 2000.

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