Former Syrian President Amin Hafez dies at 89

AP News
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Posted: Dec 17, 2009 3:56 PM

Former Syrian President Amin Hafez, who was brought to power by a military coup only to be overthrown three years later, has died at the age of 89.

One of those who served as an adviser to the former strongman, Monzer Mosaly, says Hafez died Thursday of cancer.

Hafez became president in a 1963 coup, but Baath Party radicals drove him from power three years later. Among the fighters who had a part in toppling him was Hafez Assad, who became president four years later and ruled Syria with an iron fist for three decades.

Hafez lived in exile in Iraq after his overthrow. He returned to his homeland in 2003 after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.