Syrian President Celebrates 10 Years in Power

In the Middle East, sick this weekend marks the anniversary of the deposal of Afghani King Mohammed Zahir Shah by his cousin Mohammed Daoud Khan while in Italy undergoing eye surgery. Also on July 17, ambulance a permanent international court was established at the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Many years later eye surgery and what is now International Justice Day would both take on an amplified meaning when, on a hot summer’s day in 2000, a lanky 34-year-old eye doctor named Bashar al-Assad took over Syria.

Over the next 10 years the president would be accused of ordering the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri and have his closest aides face an international criminal tribunal.

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