Nearly every aspect of modern Syrian life is shaped by Hafez Al-Assad, father of Bashar, which isn’t surprising given that he ruled the country with an iron fist for decades from 1970 until his death in 2000. So let us take a look at the Past and the present of Al-Assads.
In spite of their ‘deceiving’ innocent looks, Assads are infact thugs and murderers. Bashar Al-Assad’s great grand father Sulayman al- Wahhish, who lived in the norther mountain region of Syria was a village head and a thug. For his vandalisms and thuggery the villagers nicknamed him “al- Wahhish” (“The Wild Man”), which was apparently so fitting so he adopted it as his surname.
Al-Wahhish was an Arab tribalist and also played a crucial role in overthrowing the ‘Turkish’ Ottoman Islamic caliphate allying with the French and British colonisers. At the outbreak of the World War I, the Ottoman governor of the Aleppo Vilayet sent troops to the area to collect taxes and round up recruits. The troops reportedly were attacked by al-Wahhish and his friends. From then on Al-Wahhish and other Alwite tribalists of Syria became reliable allies of the western colonialist imperialist powers. What happened to Al-Wahhish, whether was he rewarded by the colonialist or not was uncertain however, after his death, his son Ali Sulyman became prominent among Syrian tribalists.
Ali Sulayman inherited many of his father’s fierce characteristics, thuggery etc, cementing his kin’s reputation among the Alawite mountain tribes. In 1927, their last name was upgraded to the more distinguished al- Assad, meaning “The lion” in Arabic.
Ali Sulayman was married twice. He had eleven children, Eight sons and three daughters. Hafez was born to his second wife, Na’isa, who was twenty years younger than him. Hafez was Ali’s ninth son and the fourth son of Na’isa.
In 1939, Hafez left his Alawite village and started education in Latakia when he was nine. He was the first member of the Alawite community to attend a high school. However, he was an excellent student, winning a few prizes when he was around fourteen. Hafez lived in a poor, predominantly Alawite part of Latakia. In order to fit in, he approached the political parties that welcomed Alawites. These parties, that also supported Pan-Arabic ideologies, pro western pro European trend, were the Syrian Communist Party, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), and the Arab Ba’ath Party; Assad joined the latter in 1946.
After his graduation from high school, Hafez entered the Military Academy in Homs, which offered free food, lodging and a stipend that suited him. Assad graduated in 1955, after which he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Syrian Air Force. In 1961, Assad and other Ba’athist officers were removed from the military by the new regime in Damascus, and Assad was given a minor clerical position in the Ministry of Transport.
By 1963, Hafez played a major role in executing a military coup that put the pan-Arab bath party in charge. Three years later, he helped to engineer an even bloodier takeover, which costed thousands of lives, which resulted in his appointment as minister of defense. Four years later, he staged another coup, clawing his way to the top and into the presidency an office he would hold for the rest of his life. So this is how Assads came to power, through mass murder a and coups.
In 1982, he ordered the massacre of thousands of Sunnis in the country’s fourth-largest city, Hama, and a year later quashed a coup attempt by his younger brother Rifaat. In a just world, Hafez would have been punished long before he died for his decades of iron-fisted rule. Instead, he passed away, sending his son Bashar Al-Assad to office.
Bashar was too quick painting himself into a corner with a whole lot of blood. Some accounts attest that he refuses to step down because he fears his Alawite clan will be defeated and massacred by the rebels.
Syrian law restricts the press from publishing information that “causes public unrest, disturbs international relations, violates the dignity of the state or national unity, affects the morale of the armed forces or inflicts harm on the national economy and the safety of the monetary system.” The media has been completely state-controlled since the 1960s. As of 2001, under Bashar Al Assad, private media outlets have been permitted to operate, but the government retains the power to quash and censor anything.
Genocide of Sunni Muslims has been underway since Assad came to power. After the persecution broke into a war, This heinous crime is committed in collaboration with Russian war criminal Vladimir Putin and Iran-backed Shia militias worldwide including Lebanese Hezbollah and its Iraqi counterparts.
Assad’s army uses a “double tap” method designed to kill any Good Samaritans who come to the aid of the injured. They strike once,and then wait a while; then, when people gather to try to remove those stuck under the rubble, they strike again.
Journalist Bilal Abdul Karim who is now in the US kill list said:
“It is vital for people around the world not to be misled about what is happening on the ground in Aleppo. There are still nearly 300,000 Syrians trapped there, but out of those only 10,500 chose to leave during a humanitarian pause las year. If so many people chose to remain in a siege situation without food and comfort and would prefer to face barrel bombs and bunker busters, shells and missiles,what does that tell you about the Assad regime? Nobody was forced to stay. The fact is, of those who left, hundreds of the men have disappeared. That speaks volumes about the crimes of the Syrian government forces.”
Another myth that Abdul Karim is keen to dismiss is the presence of foreign fighters.
“I’ve met three Egyptians and one from Uzbekistan but the rest of the men who stand between Bashar Al-Assad’s forces and the people of Aleppo are local men from Aleppo as well as Syrians from the Free Syrian Army.”
He acknowledged that the rebels are local men.
“When I’ve interviewed them they point out their homes or the streets where they lived. There is a narrative put out that the rebels are foreign fighters and that all the fighters are terrorists; it’s simply not true. The only terrorists in Syria are Daesh and they do not have a presence in Aleppo.”
Syrians rose up peacefully seeking freedom and justice. Bashar Al-Assad and champions of human rights in Washington, London, Paris together with Russia and Iran gave them death and destruction. Indications are that Muslim blood is likely to flow all over Middle East in the years to come.
Originally published in 2013 September 24. Updated 2017 April 05