Bashir Assad is the dictator of Syria. He inherited the position from his father Hafiz Assad that died in the late 1990's.
Bashir Assad has been running Syria in a somewhat more liberal way than his father. Hafiz Assad once destroyed an entire city in Syria due to political opponents being located in the town, so instead of weeding out the opponents, he leveled the city with every man, women and child in the town.
Bashir Assad has not taken that level of violence as of yet. He refuses to send the Syrian troops home from Lebanon which Syria invaded fully in the early 1990's (Syria has had a smaller presence since the 1970's).
Bashir Assad speaks fluent English and French, having studied at the Franco-Arab al-Hurriyet school in Damascus before going to medical school in the Syrian capital.
“ Syria would resist American efforts to rearrange the region as it sees fit in order to control its oil wealth and accommodate Israeli interests." - Syria - 2002
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