Al Watan was launched in 2006. The paper is published by the Syrian Arab Publishing and Distributing Company. It is the country's first private daily newspaper since the 1960s (not counting the state party organ Al-Baath), but its editorial line and reporting is practically identical to that of the state-owned papers. In fact, the owner of the daily is the cousin of the Syrian PresidentBashar Assad, Rami Makhlouf. Its sister daily is Al Iqtissadiya.