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How a dynast destroyed Syria

The book's subtitle is 'How One Family's Lust for Power Destroyed Syria,' but Dagher overemphasises the degree to which the Assads differed from other dictators in the region


Bashar al-Assad assassinated!” shouted a man as he cycled past Manaf Tlass, an exiled Syrian general once a member of Assad’s inner circle, as he sat in an outdoor cafe in Paris in 2017. A childhood friend of the Syrian president’s, Tlass had fled Syria five years earlier, denouncing the government that he expected to fall at any moment. The cyclist’s cry may have suggested that this outcome was finally at hand, but Tlass greeted the news with a pained smile. “That’s Ali, the guy I buy my newspapers from. He tells me this every time I see him,” he ...

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First Published: Mon, June 03 2019. 01:18 IST