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Bashar al-Assad, referred to frequently as simply Assad, is a Syrian politician and the incumbent president of the Syrian Arab Republic. He is hotly contested as a war criminal in international politics.
Assad was elected as the President of Syria in July of 2000 for a seven-year term, reelected in 2007, and then again in 2014. All of these elections supposedly garnered extreme support for Assad, with 99.7%, 97.6%, and 88.7% respectively. For this reason, they are often framed as staged or doctored by international critics.
Assad's involvement in the Arab Spring followed by the Syrian Civil War led to the conclusion that he was involved in war crimes by the United States. Assad was included in a list of war criminals given to the International Criminal Court in June 2014.
Assad is often cited as a war criminal in international media for his involvement in the Syrian Civil War. He has been accused of using chemical weapons against his own people to gain a tactical advantage against his enemies.
Human rights under Assad's leadership have reportedly declined, with critics showing concern for freedom of speech and inhumane treatment of political dissidents.