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Saturday, May 21, 2005 

Hama killer Rifaat to return to Syria

The mass-murderer Rifaat Al-Assad is returning to Syria 20 years after he was forced into exile in Europe.

He led the team to 'quell' an uprising in the Northern city of Hama. Days later 20,000 people were dead, and most of the millennia-old city was flattened.

He pushed tanks through the city to destroy a city he couldn't win. His opponents were the Muslim Brotherhood (spiritual grandfathers of Al-Qaeda) who are also seeking a return to Syria after the disastrous coup attempt.

A couple of years later Rifaat attempted a bloody coup of his own - against his own brother. He claimed to have established a free independent state of Lattaqia - all under his control. He fled days later.

Many in Lebanon believe that Rifaat was connected with Basil Al-Assad's death. Basil (Bashar's brother) was being groomed for the Presidency when he died in car crash at Damascus Airport. He had a great deal more support than even Bashar has, and was seen as the people's (not just his father's) choice for President.

When Bashar Al-Assad came to power in 2000, Rifaat made an announcement that he was the only legitimate president of Syria - all the way from London.

This time round he claims that he is returning to "fulfil his political responsibilities".

With Lebanese warlord Michel Aoun, the Muslim Brotherhood and Rifaat Al-Assad all returning, and Samir Jaja's campaign to be let out of a Lebanese prison almost over, the Levant is a more dangerous place than it was last night.

We Syrians need to fulfill our own political responsibilities and put this man in prison.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Did he really claim to have established an independent state in Latakia?

There is good new on Aljazeera saying that Damascus said he would be facing a trail if he would come back..So he is not wanted here..Thank god!
Well done from the government!

It was a state in all but name! He controlled the city, and made his wealth from the port. He is accused by the US Congress of smuggling drgus from Bekaa and Afghanistan to Europe through Lathqia.

Some regiments of the Army were loyal to him - mainly the ones based in Lathqia. And Hafez Al-Assad bombed his military bases, checkpoints and the port to regain control of the city and force Rifaat into exile.

Drag the bastard to Den Haag

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