- NAME: Bashar al-Assad
- OCCUPATION: World Leader
- BIRTH DATE: September 11, 1965 (Age: 48)
- EDUCATION: Arab-French al Hurriya School, University of Damascus, Western Eye Hospital, Tishreen Military Hospital
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Damascus, Syria
- Full Name: Bashar Hafez al-Assad
- AKA: Bashar al-Assad
- ZODIAC SIGN: Virgo
Best Known For
As the successor to his father, Hafez, Bashar al-Assad has continued with his father's brutal rule of Syria.
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In May 2011, the Syrian military responded with violent crackdowns in the town of Homs and the suburbs of Damascus. In June, Bashar promised a national dialogue and new parliamentary elections, but no change came, and the protests continued. That same month, opposition activists established a "National Council" to lead a Syrian revolution.
By the fall of 2011, many countries were calling for President Bashar al-Assad's resignation and the Arab League suspended Syria,
leading the Syrian government to agree to allow Arab observers into the country. In January 2012, the Reuters News Agency reported that more than 5,000 civilians had been killed by the Syrian militia (Shabeeha), and that 1,000 people had been killed by anti-regime forces. That March, the United Nations endorsed a peace plan that was drafted by former UN Secretary Kofi Annan, but this didn't stop the violence.
In June 2012, a UN official stated that the uprisings had transitioned into a full-scale civil war. The conflict continues, with daily reports of the killing of scores of civilians by government forces, and counter-claims by the al-Assad regime of the killings beging staged or the result of outside agitators.
President Bashar al-Assad has continued to demonstrate tremendous disregard for human life in his efforts to hold onto power. In August 2013, he has come under fire from leaders around the world, including U.S. president Barack Obama and British prime minister David Cameron, for using chemical weapons against civilians. This action resulted in the deaths of women and children, and some Western countries are debating what steps should be taken against al-Assad and his regime.
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Ruthless, corrupt and crazy. Many of the world's dicators started out as charismatic young leaders, with a large measure of support from their countrymen—only to become bloated with power and abandon the principles they had pledged to uphold. These leaders held on to power by rigidly enforcing control, intimidating opposition and instilling fear among citizens. With access to unlimited power and riches, many developed secretive personal lives and bizarre habits. These dictators terrorized their people, and mesmerized the world, with their bizarre sayings, styles, and actions. Biography.com takes a look at some of the world's most erratic, and autocratic, leaders.
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