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Hafez al-Assad served as president of Syria from 1971 until his death in 2000. He is widely criticized for his brutal tactics but also praised for stabilizing the country.
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Born in Syria in 1930, Hafez al-Assad became president of the country in 1971, after taking part in multiple coups. Though widely criticized for brutal tactics (most notably the 1982 Hama massacre), he is also praised for bringing stability to Syria, and for improving relations between Syria and Western powers by supporting America in the Persian Gulf War. He died on June 10, 2000.
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