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Bashar al-Assad
بشار حافظ الأسد
Bashar al-Assad (cropped).jpg
President of Syria
Assumed office
17 July 2000
Prime Minister
Vice President
Preceded by Abdul Halim Khaddam (Acting)
Regional Secretary of the Regional Command of the Syrian Regional Branch
Assumed office
24 June 2000
Leader Abdullah al-Ahmar
Preceded by Hafez al-Assad
Member of the Regional Command of the Syrian Regional Branch
Assumed office
21 June 2000
Personal details
Bashar Hafez al-Assad

11 September 1965 (1965-09-11) (age 55)
Damascus, Syria
Political party Ba'ath Party
Other political
National Progressive Front
Spouse(s) Asma al-Akhras
Children Hafez
Alma mater Damascus University
Military service
Allegiance  Syria
Branch/service Syrian Armed Forces
Years of service 1988–
Rank Syria-Mushir.jpg Marshal
Unit Republican Guard
Presently serving as commander-in-chief
Battles/wars Syrian civil war (2011–)

Bashar Hafez al-Assad (born 11 September 1965) is the president of Syria and the head of the Ba'ath Party in Syria.

Assad has had those jobs since the death of his father Hafez al-Assad (1930-2000), who had ruled Syria since 1971. Bashar al-Assad was elected in 2000, and re-elected in 2007.

Early life

Assad was born on 11 September 1965 in Damascus, Syria to Hafez al-Assad. He had two brothers, Bassel al-Assad and Shabbih Maher al-Assad, and one sister, Bushra al-Assad. Bashar was quiet and reserved and says that he lacked interest in politics or the military.


Assad studied medicine at the University of Damascus and graduated in 1988. He then studied ophthalmology at a military hospital, and in 1992 studied at the Western Eye Hospital in London.

His father wanted Assad's elder brother Bassel to succeed him as leader of Syria. Bassel died in a car accident in 1994, and Assad returned home to Syria.

Early career

He went to a military academy at Homs, and became a colonel after only five years. He worked as an adviser to his father, and took action against corruption.


When his father died, the government changed the constitution. Under Syrian law the president had to be at least 40 years old. With law changed, Assad was able to be elected President of Syria in June 2000. He was also made commander in chief of the armed forces, and leader of the Ba'ath Party which has ruled Syria since 1961.

2011 Syrian Civil War

Since March 2011, a war is taking place in Syria. By June 2013, 93,000 people have been killed from all sides. There are many terrorist organisations fighting in the region.

Bashar was considered a younger-generation Arab leader, who would bring change to Syria, a region long filled with aging dictators. He is well-educated, and many believed he would be capable of transforming his father's iron-rule regime into a modern state.

Personal life

Assad is married to Asma al-Akhras. Together, they have three children; Hafez, Jr., Zein, and Karim al-Assad.

Influenced by his western education and urban upbringing, Bashar initially seemed eager to implement a cultural revolution in Syria.

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