The first innaugaration of President Hafez al-Assad in Parliament - March 1971

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Image Source: Syrianhistory.com Archive

From left to right: President Hafez al-Assad, Abdullah al-Ahmar the Assistant Secretary-General of the Baath Party, Prime Minister Abdul Rahman Khleifawi, Assistant Secretary General Jaber Bajbouj, Foreign Minister Abdul Halim Khaddam, Parliament Speaker Fihmi al-Yusufi. Seated in the third row in civilian suite is Defense Minister Mustapha Tlass, who was an appointed MP in the 1971 Parliament. Seated next to him is Naji Jamil, the director of the Syrian Air Force. Behind Tlass directly is Rifaat al-Assad, the President's younger brother, who was commander of the Special Forces and went on to become Vice-President in 1984. To the far right in the fourth row is Zuhair Masharka, who was to become Vice-President under Assad in 1984-2000. Sitting behind Abdullah al-Ahmar is Deputy Prime Minister Mohammad Haidar.