Hafez al-Assad

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Country: Syria

About Hafez al-Assad
Hafez al-Assad (Arabic: حافظ الأسد‎ Ḥāfiẓ al-Asad) (October 6, 1930 – June 10, 2000) was the president of Syria for three decades. Assad's rule stabilized and consolidated the power of the country's central government after decades of coups and counter-coups. He was succeeded by his son and current president Bashar al-Assad in 2000.Hafez al-Assad was born in the town of Qardaha in the Latakia province of western Syria (then a French Mandate) into a minority Alawite family. He was the first member of his family to attend high school. Some say his family's name was Wa'hish (or Beast in Arabic) and they changed the family name. He attended Jules Jammal High School in Lattakia from which he graduated. He joined the Baath Party in 1946 at the age of 16. Because his family had no money to send him to university, Assad commenced military study at the Homs Military Academy in 1952. While at the Academy he met Mustafa Tlass. In 1955 Assad graduated and was comissioned as a lieutenant in the Syrian Air Force, making him one of the first Alawis to join the air force. Continuing with his Baathist activities, Assad also showed considerable talent, becoming a skilled combat and acrobatics display pilot, flying the Gloster Meteor jet fighter as well as other types. In 1957 Assad's abilities led to him being sent for additional training in the Soviet Union where he studied military science. He opposed the 1958 union between Syria and Egypt which created the United Arab Republic (UAR). Stationed in Cairo, he worked with other officers to end the union, sticking to his pan-Arab ideals while arguing that the UAR concentrated too much power in the hands of Gamal Abdel Nasser's regime. Assad was then assigned to a posts in rural Egypt away from political activity. At the breakup of the union in 1961, Assad was briefly imprisoned by the Egyptian authorities . Tlass escorted his family to Syria, where he later rejoined them. As part of a political purge, Assad was required to leave the air force. From 1961 to 1963 he worked at the Ministry of Sea Transportation and simultaneously focussed on Baath Party political activities. Assad and others planned the 1963 revolution which took the Baath Party to power. Following the revolution Assad returned to the Air Force in the rank of major. Syria was officially ruled by Amin Hafiz, a Sunni Muslim, but was in practice dominated by a coterie of young Alawite Baathists. The following year (1964) Assad jumped several ranks to become a general and was appointed to the Baath Party's regional command. The following year he became Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force. This military power allowed Assad, operating in conjunction with Salah Jadid, to overthrow the government of Amin Hafiz in 1966.

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Syria Leaders & Politicians Ranking

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Rank Name Total
1. Aga Khan 686124
2. Bashar al-Assad 10630
3. Adib Shishakli 2394
4. Sultan al-Atrash 580
5. Lady Asma 418
6. Yusuf Al-Azma 155
7. Hafez al-Assad 138
8. Hashim Al-Atassi 4
9. Nazim Al Kudsi 4
10. saladin (Salahuddin 0

Leaders & Politicians Ranking

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Rank Name Total
463. Amir Kabir 144
464. Sandro Pertini 142
465. Ameli Tehrani 140
466. Lech Kaczynsky 139
467. Hafez al-Assad 138
468. Abdul Latif Pedram 131
469. Jacques Rogge 131
470. Ayad Allawi 128
471. Stjepan Mesić 128

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