Highlights on Bashar al-Assad | CNN


A look back at the life of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Date of Birth: September 11, 1965

Place of birth: Damascus, Syria

Dad: Hafez Assad, former Syrian President

Mother: Anisa Makhlouf al-Assad

Wedding: Asma (Akhras) al-Assad (2000-present)

Children: Karim, 2004; Zein, 2003; Hafez, 2001

Education: Damascus University, Medicine, 1988; Residency in ophthalmology, London, 1992-1994

Military service: Syrian Army, 1999, Colonel

Religion: Alawite Muslim

1994 – The eldest son and heir of Syrian President Hafez Assad, Basel, dies in a car accident. The second son, Bashar, is recalled from his medical training in Britain and is groomed to take over his father’s role as president.

1999 – Assad becomes a colonel in the Syrian army.

June 10, 2000 – President Hafez Assad dies of a heart attack after 29 years in power.

July 10, 2000 – Assad is elected unopposed as President of Syria.

January 2006 – Assad and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hold a summit meeting in Damascus. Assad declares his support for Iran’s nuclear program.

April 2006 – Assad meets with the head of a United Nations commission of inquiry into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

May 29, 2007 Runs for president unopposed and is elected for a second seven-year term.

October 14, 2008 – Assad signs a decree establishing diplomatic relations between Syria and Lebanon.

April 21, 2011 – In response to Arab Spring protests, Assad lifts 48-year-old state of emergency law. The law, which took effect in 1963, restricted freedom of speech and gave the government broad power to detain people for perceived threats to national security.

May 18, 2011 – The United States imposes sanctions on Assad and six other senior Syrian officials. The Treasury Department details the sanctions by saying, « As a result of this action, any property in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which the persons listed in the schedule have an interest is blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from entering into transactions with them.

May 19, 2011 – Assad is harshly criticized in a speech by US President Barack Obama. Obama says Syrians have shown ‘courage in demanding a transition to democracy’ [but Assad’s regime] has chosen the path of murder and mass arrests of its citizens… President Assad now has a choice: he can lead this transition or get out of the way.

August 18, 2011 – The United States and the European Union call for the resignation of Assad. US authorities are also imposing new economic sanctions on Damascus, freezing Syrian government assets in the United States, barring Americans from making new investments in Syria, and prohibiting any US dealings in Syrian petroleum products, among other things.

October 10, 2011 – A statement issued after a meeting attended by the 27 foreign ministers of the European Union condemns « in the strongest possible terms the ongoing brutal repression by the Syrian regime » and declares that the Syrian leader must resign « to allow a political transition to take place ». in Syria. »

November 14, 2011 – King Abdullah of Jordan calls on Assad to step down.

November 20, 2011 – In an interview with a British newspaper, Assad warned other countries that a military intervention in Syria would have « very serious » repercussions and that his country would « not back down » in the face of international pressure and condemnation.

November 22, 2011 – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls on Assad to step down and warns he will suffer the same fate as Benito Mussolini, Nicolae Ceausescu and Muammar Gaddafi, all leaders killed by their own people.

December 7, 2011 – In an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters, Assad denies responsibility for the violence in Syria and distances himself from the behavior of his armed forces.

February 3, 2012 – Date leaked email from Asma al-Assad to a friend discussing the merits of buying a certain pair of shoes, Christian Louboutin crystal-covered pumps for around $7,000. On the same day, 200 Syrians are said to have died in Homs.

March 10-11, 2012 – Assad meets twice with UN envoy Kofi Annan to discuss the bloodshed in Syria.

March 23, 2012 – European Union sanctions are imposed on Assad’s wife, Asma, his mother, sister and sister-in-law. Their assets in the EU are frozen and a travel ban prevents them from traveling to any EU country. London-born Asma cannot be barred from entering Britain despite the EU ban.

July 18, 2012 – Syrian Deputy Defense Minister Assef Shawkat – Assad’s brother-in-law is killed, along with two other regime officials, in an explosion at a national security building in Damascus.

April 17, 2013 – In an interview with Syrian state TV channel al Ekhbariya, Assad compares support for rebels in Syria today to support for fighters in Afghanistan during their war against Soviet troops in the 1980s. rebels will one day turn against the United States and others.

June 3, 2014 – Is re-elected with 88.7% of the vote, according to public television reports. This is the first election in Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011.

February 10, 2015 – In an interview with the BBC, Assad said his regime was aware of the US-led coalition’s efforts against ISIS in Syria – not by the Americans, but through third parties like Israel. ‘Iraq. Assad also says that Syria will not join the international coalition that is trying to « degrade and destroy » ISIS.

December 1, 2015 – In an interview with Czech TV, Assad said that US-led airstrikes against ISIS have not slowed down the terrorist organization and that ISIS has only recently begun to shrink. due to direct Russian involvement.

July 9, 2016 – Assad is named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, DC by the family of journalist Marie Colvin, who was killed in 2012 while covering the war in Syria. According to the lawsuit, Colvin was the target of a rocket attack by Syrian government agents because of his reporting. Colvin and other journalists were hunted down by the Syrian regime, according to the documents. A few days later, during an interview with NBC News, Assad denied that the government was responsible for Colvin’s death. He says she entered the country illegally, putting herself in danger.

April 11, 2017 – Russian President Vladimir Putin claims, without evidence, that a deadly April 4 chemical attack in the city of Khan Sheikhoun was staged to entrap Assad and his regime. Putin says more chemical attacks are being planned by opponents of Assad to provoke US action.

May 31, 2018 – Assad calls on America to leave Syria in an interview with Russia Today. Assad says: “Americans should leave. One way or another, they will leave. They came to Iraq without a legal basis, and look what happened to them. They must learn their lesson. Iraq is no exception. Syria is no exception. People will no longer accept foreigners in this area.

March 8, 2021 – Assad and his wife, Asma, tested positive for Covid-19.

May 28, 2021 – Was re-elected with 95.1% of the vote, although the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy issued a joint statement calling it a « fraudulent election ».

March 18, 2022 – Assad arrives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and meets with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. This is his first visit to an Arab country since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

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