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Hafez al-Assad (Arabic: حافظ الأسد, Ḥāfiẓ al-Asad; 6 October 1930 – 10 June 2000) was president of Syria from 1971 until his death. He was also the general of Syrian Air force from 1955 - 1972. He was born in Qardaha and died in Damascus. He had four sons and a daughter. His eldest son died in 1994. Al-Assad was succeeded as president by his second son Bashar al-Assad (born 1965), who still has that job.