Russia criticizes demands for Assad's exit

MOSCOW, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the main obstacle to peace in Syria is rebel insistence on toppling the government.
Assad calls rebels 'enemies of God'

Assad calls rebels 'enemies of God'

DAMASCUS, Syria, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Standing defiantly against pressure to step down, Syrian President Bashar Assad called on the Syrian public to fight rebels he deemed "enemies of God."

Lebanon opens bidding for East Med gas

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- As many as 40 international oil companies are expected to bid for offshore natural gas exploration blocks in Lebanon's sector of the eastern Mediterranean that lies north of major deepwater gas fields in Israeli waters.

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Atrocities alleged after Syria battle

Atrocities alleged after Syria battle

DAMASCUS, Syria, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Syrian government troops reportedly pushed rebels out of a district in the key city of Homs and then exacted a heavy toll from civilian residents, rebels said.

Syria seeks arrest of Lebanese ex-PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Syrian President Bashar Assad has lost authority, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Wednesday after learning of a Syrian warrant for his arrest.

Syria: Looted SAMs give rebels a new edge

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Syrian rebels are believed to have used captured surface-to-air missiles in what could be an important tactical gain in the country's 20-month-old civil war.

Report: Iran hedging Syrian bets

TEHRAN, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A report from a Western embassy in Tehran said the Iranian government may be hedging its bets regarding the Syrian government of Bashar Assad.

Syrian rebels take aim at government bases

DAMASCUS, Syria, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Syrian rebels are taking aim at the country's military bases in an effort to prevent the government from hitting them from the air, observers say.
Conflict fears as Gaza clashes intensify

Conflict fears as Gaza clashes intensify

GAZA, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- There are ominous signs that worsening clashes between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip could touch off a new conflict in the Middle East.

Lebanese P.M. may quit after car bombing

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati has reportedly offered to resign after a Beirut car bomb killed a top intelligence official and wounded dozens of others.

U.N. envoy to talk Syria crisis in Turkey

ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, arrived in Turkey Saturday in an attempt to ease tensions between former allies Turkey and Syria.

Iran: Hard-liners play rough as poll nears

TEHRAN, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The arrest of two children of former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani days is seen as an attempt to ensure he doesn't run in 2013 presidential elections.

Turkish air defenses now on Syrian border

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Concerned about rising tensions along its Syrian border, Turkey is deploying military forces.

Syria swears in new prime minister

DAMASCUS, Syria, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Syrian President Bashar Assad swore in newly appointed Prime Minister Wael al-Halki Saturday, as fighting continued in Aleppo and Damascus.
Page 7 of 16
Bashar al-Assad
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad waves to supporters in the street after addressing parliament on March 30, 2011 in Damascus, Syria. Al-Assad ordered a committee to conduct an investigation into the deaths of protesters and also to study the lifting of emergency laws. UPI

Bashar al-Assad (Arabic: بشار حافظ الأسد‎, Baššār al-ʾAsad; born 11 September 1965) is the President of Syria and Regional Secretary of the Ba'ath Party. His father Hafez al-Assad ruled Syria for 29 years until his death. Al-Assad was elected in 2000 and 2007, but was unopposed each time.

Bashar al-Assad was born in Damascus on 11 September 1965, the son of Aniseh (née Makhluf) and Hafez al-Assad. Initially Bashar had few political aspirations. His father had been grooming Bashar's older brother, Basil al-Assad, as a future president. Bashar studied ophthalmology at Damascus University 1988 and arrived in London in 1992 to continue his studies. He was recalled in 1994 to join the Syrian army after Basil's death in an automobile accident. Bashar entered the military academy at Homs, north of Damascus, following the death of Basil, and was propelled through the ranks to become a colonel in January 1999. The accident made Bashar his father's new heir-apparent.

When the elder Assad died in 2000, Bashar was appointed leader of the Baath-Party and the Army and was elected president unopposed with what the regime claimed to be a massive popular support (97.2% of the votes), after the Majlis Al Sha'ab (Parliament) swiftly voted to lower the minimum age for candidates from 40 to 34 (Assad's age when he was elected). On 27 May 2007 Bashar was approved as president for another seven-year term, with the official result of 97.6% of the votes in a referendum without another candidate.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bashar al-Assad."
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