Hafiz al- Assad

Assad, Hafiz al-


Born Oct. 6, 1930, in Qardaha, in the muhafaza (governorate) of Latakia. Syrian state and political figure. Lieutenant general.

The son of a peasant, al-Assad graduated from the Air Force Academy in Haleb (Aleppo) in 1955. From 1964 to 1970 he commanded the air force and the air defense of the Syrian Arab Republic (SAR); in 1966 he assumed the post of minister of defense as well. He held the posts of prime minister and minister of defense in the government formed by him in November 1970. In March 1971 al-Assad became president of the SAR and in August of that year was elected secretary general of the Arab Socialist Renaissance Party of the SAR. In March 1972 al-Assad became chairman of the National Progressive Front of the SAR.