Hafez, Amin al-

Hafez or Hafiz, Amin al-

(ämēn` äl-hä`fəz), 1921?–2009, Syrian army officer and politician. He served (1963–65) as chief of state in Syria's Ba'athist government (see Ba'ath partyBa'ath party
, Arab political party, in Syria and in Iraq. Founded in Damascus in 1941 with an ideology of secularism, socialism, and pan-Arab unionism, it was reformed with the name Ba'ath in the early 1950s and rapidly achieved political power in Syria.
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) but had to flee to Lebanon (1965) after radical Ba'athist military officers, led by Nurreddin Attassi and Hafez al-AssadAssad, Hafez al-
, 1930–2000, president of Syria (1971–2000). He graduated (1955) from the Syrian Military Academy and advanced through the army ranks to become a general.
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, toppled his government in a coup. He moved his exile to Iraq in 1968 and was sentenced to death in absentia in 1971. Under Bashar al-AssadAssad, Bashar al-
, 1965–, Syrian political leader, son of Hafez al-Assad. A medical doctor, he left Syria (1992) for an ophthamology residency in London when his elder brother, Basil, his father's designated heir, was killed (1994) in an automobile accident.
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, who became president in 2000, Hafez was permitted to return (2003) to Syria.