: باسل الأسد, Bāssel al-Assad
) (March 23, 1962 – January 21, 1994) was a son of Syrian
President Hafez al-Assad
From a young age, Basil was groomed to fill the role of President by his father. He was chief of presidential security while running a highly publicized anti-corruption campaign within the regime, and frequently appeared in full military uniform at official receptions, signalling the regime's commitment to the armed forces. He also had a reputation for being an aficionado of fast cars.
In January 1994, driving his own Mercedes
at high speed through fog
to Damascus International Airport
in the small hours of the morning, Basil is said to have collided with a motorway roundabout
and died instantly. There has been occasional speculation by opponent's to the Syrian regime and their secret services, that his death may have been a murder cover-up, but this has not been suggested by the Syrian government and no evidence in support of such a theory has, as far is known, been presented elsewhere.
His death led to his lesser-known brother Bashar al-Assad
, then undertaking sub-speciality training in ophthalmology
, assuming the mantle of President-in-waiting. Bashar became President upon the death of Hafez on June 10, 2000.
The state-run Syrian media sometimes refers to him as "Basil the Martyr" (,
), and numerous squares and streets have been named after him. His statue is found in... Read More