Assad would rise in the Ba’ath Party bureaucracy and the Syrian military. By the time Syria loses the Golan Heights to Israel in the June 1967 war he is Defense Minister. In 1970 he becomes Syria’s President, remaining in office until his death in June 2000. He collaborates with Egyptian President Sadat in attacking Israel on October 6, 1973. He signs a Military Disengagement Agreement with Israel in May 1974. Though he refuses to recognize the state of Israel, he seeks the return of all of the Golan Heights to Syrian sovereignty.
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