Two million people have fled to Idlib, the tyrant’s next target

Bashar al-Assad did not expect to become Syria’s leader and it would have been better for all concerned if he had not. His elder brother, Bassel, was the preferred successor of their father, Hafez al-Assad, a three-time coup leader who had seized sole power in the “corrective revolution” of 1970. But Bassel was killed in a car crash in 1994 and Bashar was recalled from medical studies in London. From then on, he was groomed for the presidency and in 2000, when Hafez died (of natural causes), he was thrust into power, age 34.

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