When Hafez al-Assad died in June 2000 he was succeeded by his youngest son Bashar as President and Syrian Regional Branch head. He was 35 years old. He later ran unopposed in an election, receiving 97.29 percent of the vote. Sounds legit to us. Early in his Presidency, The Damascus Spring happened – some reforms, followed by a brutal crackdown.

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Theme music: Holy Deep by The Passion HiFi