From Ophthalmology to Dictatorship: 13 Facts About Syria's Bashar al-Assad

By The Fiscal Times  SEP 10, 2013 1:30 PM

Some biographical details about the man who told Charlie Rose that the US would "pay the price" if it was not wise about the current standoff.


Just who is this seemingly composed, nattily dressed, English-speaking dictator who has been charged with killing more than 1400 of his own people with chemical weapons on August 21? Among the dead are over 400 children.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, 47, has denied committing this heinous act of terror, blaming it instead on rebel groups in his country.

Assad told Charlie Rose of CBS in an interview that took place in Damascus and aired Monday, "We are against any WMD, any weapons of mass destruction whether chemical or nuclear." He also said that any retaliatory US strikes against his government would only help the al-Qaeda branches in his country: "It’s going to be direct support," he said in the interview.

Assad also warned Washington that if there is military retaliation, "You’re going to pay the price if you’re not wise. There are going to be repercussions."

Even as a possible diplomatic breakthrough emerges, it’s clear that few will ever understand the man who two years ago cracked down on his political opponents, killing some 10,000 Syrians. But in an effort to at least get closer to some of the facts of his life, here’s a biographical roundup.
Editor's Note: This article by Maureen Mackey originally appeared on The Fiscal Times.

For more from The Fiscal Times:

Syria Strike: Big Budget, Big Risk, Small Reward 

Why Bombing Syria Won't Spike Gas Prices

President Obama's Three Bad Choices in Syria

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