Ali Habib Mahmud

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Ali Habib Mahmud
علي حبيب محمود
Minister of Defense
In office
3 June 2009 – 8 August 2011
President Bashar al-Assad
Prime Minister Mohammad Najji Outri
Adel Safar
Preceded by Hasan Turkmani
Succeeded by Dawoud Rajiha
Chief of Staff of the Syrian Army
In office
3 June 2004 – 3 June 2009
President Bashar al-Assad
Preceded by Hasan Turkmani
Succeeded by Dawoud Rajiha
Personal details
Born (1939-01-01)1 January 1939
Tartus, Syria
Political party Syrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Religion Alawite
Military service
Allegiance Army of Syria
Years of service 1959–2011
Rank Syria-Feriq Awal.jpg Colonel General
Commands 7th Mechanized Division
Battles/wars Yom Kippur War
Lebanese Civil War
Gulf War

Ali Habib Mahmud (Arabic: علي حبيب محمود‎) (born 1 January 1939) is a Syrian military officer who served as Syria's minister of defense from June 2009 to August 2011. He was part of Assad's inner circle.[1] In September 2013, the Syrian opposition claimed that he defected and is now staying in Turkey.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Mahmud was born into an Alawite family on 1 January 1939 in Tartus[4][5] and joined the army in 1959.[6] In 1962, he graduated from the military academy.[4]

Career[edit]

Mahmud fought in the 1973 October War against Israel. He also led forces against Israeli troops invading Lebanon in 1982. He commanded 7th mechanized infantry in 1985.[5] In 1986, Mahmud became a general.[7] He also participated in the Gulf War as part of the international coalition to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein's Iraq in 1990.[1] In 1994, he was appointed commander of the special forces.[6] In 1998, he was promoted to the rank of major general.[7] He was appointed deputy chief of staff in 2002. On 12 May 2004, he was appointed chief of general staff of the Syrian army and the armed forces.[4][8] He replaced Hasan Turkmani, who was appointed defense minister.[8] In addition, Mahmud is a member of the Baath Party.[7]

On 3 June 2009, president Bashar Assad appointed Mahmud as defense minister, replacing again Hasan Turkmani.[4][9] Mahmud's term ended on 8 August 2011, and he was replaced by Dawoud Rajha in the post.[6]

On 4 September 2013, opposition claimed that Mahmud had defected to the opposition and escaped to Turkey.[10]

Sanctions[edit]

In May 2011, the United States accused Habib of human rights abuses, and announced a travel ban and asset freeze.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Bashar al-Assad's inner circle". BBC. 18 May 2011. 
  2. ^ News Flash. Ynet.co.il. Retrieved on 2013-09-06.
  3. ^ Ex-Syria Defense Chief Defection Hurts Assad: Opposition. Businessweek. Retrieved on 2013-09-06.
  4. ^ a b c d وزير جديد للدفاع في سورية. BBC Arabic (in Arabic). 3 June 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Hanna Batatu (1999). Syria's Peasantry, the Descendants of Its Lesser Rural Notables, and Their Politics. Princeton University Press. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-691-00254-5. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "Ex-Syrian DefMin Opposition to Hama crackdown led to firing – Sources". Asharq Alawsat (Damascus, London). 9 August 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c "Who is Defence Minister Ali Habib Mahmoud?". Gulf News. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Flynt Lawrence Leverett (1 January 2005). Inheriting Syria: Bashar's Trial by Fire. Brookings Institution Press. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-8157-5206-6. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Syria names former army chief new defence minister". Syria Today. July 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  10. ^ Exclusive: Former Syria defense minister defects in break with Assad. Reuters. Retrieved on 2013-09-06.
Military offices
Preceded by
Hasan Turkmani
Deputy Chief of Staff of Army
2002–2004
Succeeded by
Dawoud Rajiha
Preceded by
Hasan Turkmani
Chief of Staff of Army
2004–2009
Succeeded by
Dawoud Rajiha
Political offices
Preceded by
Hasan Turkmani
Minister of Defense
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Dawoud Rajiha