Hafez, Amin al-

Hafez or Hafiz, Amin al- ämēn´ äl-hä´fəz [key], 1921?–2009, Syrian army officer and politician. He served (1963–65) as chief of state in Syria's Ba'athist government (see Ba'ath party ) but had to flee to Lebanon (1965) after radical Ba'athist military officers, led by Nurreddin Attassi and Hafez al- Assad , toppled his government in a coup. He moved his exile to Iraq in 1968 and was sentenced to death in absentia in 1971. Under Bashar al- Assad , who became president in 2000, Hafez was permitted to return (2003) to Syria.

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