He wrote and published The Matzah of Zion in 1983, featuring controversies.Matzah of Zionwas translated into English in 1991. Instead of being punished, the Zionists received a reward...: great financial aid and horrifying stockpiles of advanced weaponry. Syrian senior military officer and politician who was Syria's minister of defense from 1972 to 2004. Mustafa Tlass is a Syrian army officer and politician who served as the Syria’s Minister of Defense from 1972 to 2004. [1] In the footnotes to the introduction, Tlass mentions several other cases: "An incident of this type took place in Algeria in the mid-18th century. Early life and education. Topic. [9][10][11] In a move deliberately calculated to antagonize the Soviet Union to stay out of the succession dispute then going on in Syria, Mustafa Tlass allowed himself to be photographed waving Mao Zedong's Little Red Book, just two months after bloody clashes between Chinese and Soviet armies on the Ussuri river. Mustafa Tlass strived to be seen as a man of culture. Arabic, pictures. Tlass was born in Rastan near the city of Homs to a prominent Sunni Muslim family on 11 May 1932. In 1983, Mustafa Tlass, Syria’s defense minister, wrote a book in which he a ritual murder committed by the Jews of Damascus in 1840. Syrian defeat in the 1967 Six-Day War embarrassed the government, and in 1968 al-Assad managed to install Tlass as new Chief-of-Staff. To document such cases, Tlass mentions Yusuf Hana Nasrallah's Treasures of the Talmud, which is actually a translation of the notorious antisemitic professor August Rohling's 1871 book Der Talmudjude. As'ad AbuKhalil argues that Mustafa Tlass was well-suited for Hafez al-Assad as a defense minister in that "he had no power base, he was mediocre, and he had no political skills, and his loyalty to his boss was complete. His conclusion? [3], Tlass was the only member of the Ba'ath government who took part in the traditional social establishment of Syria. Tlass also wrote books about Syria’s military and political history and also books of poetry, general Arab history, and a history of the military tactics used by Muhammad. Former Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass died on Tuesday (June 27, 2017) in Paris. Tlass is survived by his wife, Lamia (nee al-Jabiri), whom he married in 1958, and their two daughters, Nahed and Sarya, and two sons, Firas and Manaf. Similarly, torture aimed at extracting confessions was an accepted method in those days in Europe and America, and it would be no exaggeration to say that it is still customary in these countries today. [3] On the other hand, members of his family also worked for the French occupiers after the First World War. But each time, the Zionist financial, media, and political influence managed to pacify the anger and distract the people from these crimes. 2. Fatir Sahyun [فطير صهيون] - By Mustafa Tlass. Punishments vary according to people’s importance [3] They have four children: Nahid (born 1958), Firas (born 1960), Manaf (born 1964), and Sarya (born 1978). Rare. Another example is, "A Christian child named Henri Abd Al-Nur was abducted and his blood was drained. [41], Mustafa Tlass and his son, Firas, both left Syria after the revolt against Assad began in 2011. Instead of one Muhammad 'Ali in the 19th century... they found several Muhammad 'Alis [in the 20th century]. "The New Asad: Dynamics of Continuity and Change in Syria", "Bashar Aims to Consolidate Power in the Short-Term and to Open up Gradually", "The Military-Intelligence Shakeup in Syria", "Syrian general breaks from Assad's inner circle", "Defection of Syrian general 'significant': US", "وفاة وزير الدفاع السوري الأسبق مصطفى طلاس", Chiefs of General Staff of the Army and the Armed Forces of Syria, National Council for the Revolutionary Command, Ba'athist Arabization campaigns in North Iraq, General Military Council for Iraqi Revolutionaries, Arab Socialist Revolutionary Ba'ath Party, National Alliance for the Liberation of Syria, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mustafa_Tlass&oldid=997902962, Members of the Regional Command of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Syria Region, Pages using infobox officeholder with unknown parameters, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2017, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 2 January 2021, at 20:18. [7] The two officers became friends when they were both stationed in Cairo during the period of 1958–1961 United Arab Republic merger between Syria and Egypt: while ardent Pan Arab nationalists, they both worked to break up the union, which they viewed as unfairly balanced in Egypt's favor. ", "The Cairo and Damascus authorities expressed great interest in the abhorrent crime, and the French Consul [in Damascus] participated in the investigation because the [victim] most treacherously murdered was a French subject. [29] However, in 2004, Tlass was replaced by Hasan Turkmani as defense minister. Share. He goes on to express his hope that he had fulfilled "part of his obligation to expose the historic activities of the enemies of our nation." The book can be purchased on the Internet in the original Arabic and is available in French, Italian, and other languages. On his retirement in 2005, Mustafa Tlass published his two-volume memoirs, entitled ‘Mirat Hayati,’ translated as Reflection… In addition to the loathsome crime itself, the investigation revealed grave issues regarding its motives, linked to the precepts of the Jewish religion, as set out in the Talmud...", "[Following the exposure of the crime], the Jews caused a great uproar everywhere. [1] His father, Abdul Qadir Tlass, was a minor Sunni notable who made a living during the Ottoman period by selling ammunition to the Turkish garrisons. Mustafa Tlass Military officer and politician (1932–2017) Mustafá Tlass político y militar sirio. By these means, the Jews managed to extract a firman [a ruler's order] in their favor. He did not use the military weapon to kill them but utilized the ax to decapitate them. Tlass authored several books, including the antisemitic best-seller The Matzah of Zion (1983), which repeats the Damascus blood libel of 1840, namely the allegation that the Jewish community perpetrated the ritual murder of a Christian priest in … [19], Tlass attempted to create a reputation for himself as a man of culture and emerged as an important patron of Syrian literature. "[27][28] The long-standing conflict between the Assad government and the Palestine Liberation Organization would not end until after Hafez al-Assad's death in 2000. Tlass authored several books, including the antisemitic best-seller The Matzah of Zion (1983), which repeats the Damascus blood libel of 1840, namely the allegation that the Jewish community perpetrated the ritual murder of a Christian priest in order to use his blood to bake Passover matzah. The younger Tlass, a general in the Syrian Republican Guard, defected to the opposition early in the war but was sidelined there, unable to find a new role. And, as happens today, the Jews carry out a crime, after which they stir up a storm in the world and do not settle for acquittal but even exploit the opportunity to gain profit. The Jew may come by and put you in his sack to kill you and suck your blood for the Matzah of Zion. "[33][34], Regarding the book, Tlass has stated that "I intend through publication of this book to throw light on some secrets of the Jewish religion based on the conduct of the Jews and their fanaticism" and that both Eastern and Western civilizations threw Jews into ghettos only after recognizing their "destructive badness". Following the book's publication, Tlass told Der Spiegel, that this accusation against Jews was valid and that his book is "an historical study ... based on documents from France, Vienna and the American University in Beirut. The following is a translation (from the Arabic) of Tlass's introduction to the 1986 edition, as previously published by MEMRI in June 2002: The cover of The Matzah of Zion (image: mrmichaelstuart.com), "During the 1830s, Muhammad 'Ali, the ruler of Egypt on behalf of the Ottoman Empire, managed to unite Syria with Egypt [thus ruling both]. [citation needed], In 2000, the widow and children of Ira Weinstein who was killed in a February 1996 Hamas suicide bombing, filed a lawsuit against Tlass and the head of Syrian military intelligence in Lebanon, Ghazi Kanaan, charging that they were responsible for providing the perpetrators with material resources and training. Egyptian producer Munir Radhi subsequently decided it was the ideal "Arab answer" to the film Schindler's List and later announced plans to produce a film adaptation of The Matzah of Zion. He also claimed that Prince Charles gave him a gold-plated Sterling submachine gun as a gift. The two officers became friends when they were both stationed in Cairo during the period of 1958–1961 United Arab Republic merger between Syria and Egypt: while ardent Pan Arab nationalists, they both worked to break up the union, which they viewed as unfairly balanced in Egypt's favor. "[35], In 1991 The Matzah of Zion was translated into English. But the narrative in particular centers on Manaf Tlass, son of Mustafa Tlass, Hafez Assad's long-serving defense minister. [23], Tlass had also boasted to the National Assembly about Cannibalist atrocities committed against Israeli soldiers who fell captive in the Yom Kippur war. I am proud of his courage and bravery, for he actually killed by himself 28 Jews by count and cash. Born in a Sunni Muslim family, he joined the military academy after completing his primary and secondary education from a local school,. Mustafa Tlasswas the first person who tries to find out pre-Ba'ath Syria objectively. In February 2002 in the Jordanian daily Al Dustour stated that Tlass submitted his letter of resignation to Bashar al-Assad, and was set to step down in July 2002. Mustafa Tlass In 1983, Mustafa Tlass, Syria’s defense minister, wrote a book in which he a ritual murder committed by the Jews of Damascus in 1840. He then promoted Tlass to high-ranking military and party positions. [12][13] The Soviet Union then agreed to back down and sell Syria weapons. [citation needed] After the debacle of an attempted Syrian intervention in the Black September conflict, the power struggle came to open conflict. Tlass was born in Rastan near the city of Homs to a prominent local Sunni Muslim family on 11 May 1932. Sadat's calamitous error, which led to his assassination, was his scorn for the national rights of the Egyptian people, and [the fact that] he had sold his land to Satan… Following the Camp David agreements, Egyptian sovereignty became partial…", © 1998-2020, The Middle East Media Research Institute All Rights Reserved. The foreigners divided the areas of influence among themselves. [19][39] It is also argued that Shawkat pushed for the removal of Mustafa Tlass. [32] In this book, he argues that the true religious beliefs of Jews are "black hatred against all humans and religions," and that no Arab country should ever sign a peace treaty with Israel. [33] Tlass re-printed the book several times, and stands by its conclusions. [46], Official Gazette of Syria (11 July 1974 Issue). The most reasonable explanation is that the blood was taken to be kneaded into the dough of extremist Jews to be used in matzahs to be devoured during Passover. "[21][22] In October of the same year, Tlass stated that there was no such country as Jordan, but only "South Syria". They activated their supporters in Parliament and the press, organized support demonstrations, and sent off prominent European Jews [to help the accused]. [3] [17] He was also a member of Baath Party's central committee. Arabs' Hatred of Jews: Can the Carnage Be a Surprise? [4] His paternal grandmother was of Circassian origin and his mother was of Turkish descent. 1. Businessman Firas Tlass is his elder brother. They isolated themselves so as to surround themselves with mystery, so the Muslim world knew almost nothing about them. The first edition's cover displayed a group of Jewish people carrying out the murder, sketched to look 'Jewish' according to Nazi depictions. He also claimed that since 1840, "...every mother warned her child: Do not stray far from home. Mustafa Tlass. But has the Jewish enmity disappeared, or do the precepts of the Talmud – with all their crimes and distortions - continue to play their hate-filled role against humanity and the society around the Jews? [44] His daughter Nahid was married to Akram Ojjeh, who was a Saudi millionaire arms dealer. ", [4] At the end of his introduction Tlass thanks his comrade-in-arms Col. Bassam 'Assali, who was his "right hand in preparing the book." Tlass also draws conclusions regarding "the importance of national sovereignty." [2] The photo of the priest's headstone in the 1986 edition shows the inscription: "The Jews slaughtered him, [his body] was not found in its entirety… and these are the remains of his bones. [38], Whether true or not, Tlass and his supporters were viewed by many as opponents of the discreet liberalization pursued by the younger al-Assad, and to maintain Syria's hardline foreign policy stances; but also as fighting for established privileges, having been heavily involved in government corruption. [1] He was part of the four-member Regional Command during the Hafez Assad era. He published several books of his own, and started a publishing house, Tlass Books, which has been internationally criticized[20] for publishing alleged anti-Semitic materials. He also claimed that Lady Diana wrote him letters that "were full of love and appreciation." In 1965, while he was Ba'athist army commander of Homs, Lieutenant Colonel Mustafa Tlass arrested his pro-government comrades. [42] Firas, a business tycoon, left Syria for Egypt in 2011, too. The Tlass family was the most famous Sunni family in Syria, known for supporting the Alawite-dominated regime. Politicians similar to or like Mustafa Tlass. The second edition features a Menorah, the Jewish symbol, cutting the victim's throat. [31], In 1983, Tlass wrote and published The Matzah of Zion, which is a treatment of the Damascus affair of 1840 that repeats the ancient "blood libel", that Jews use the blood of murdered non-Jews in religious rituals such as baking Matza bread. Tlass was promoted to minister of defense in 1972, and became one of al-Assad's most trusted loyalists during the following 30 years of one-man rule in Syria. Question of Violation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Any Part of the World. According to him, the impudence shown by one of the accused Jews towards the president of the Syrian court could not have happened "without the influence of the foreigners in Syria at that time." Tlass joined the Ba'ath Party at the age of 15, and met Hafez al-Assad when studying at the military academy in Homs. In August 1998, Tlass caused a minor uproar in Arab political circles, when he denounced Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as "the son of sixty thousand whores. He published several books of his own, and started a publishing house, Tlass Books , which has been internationally criticized for publishing anti-Semitic materials. ", [3] The 1983 edition states that, "the investigators exposed the crime and even the covert religious motive underpinning it. Fadi Hallisso. He then devoured the neck of one of them and ate it in front of the people. Mustafa Tlass is similar to these politicians: Ali Habib Mahmud, Dawoud Rajiha, Salah Jadid and more. [45] His younger daughter, Sarya, is married to a Lebanese from Baalbak. "I gave the Medal of the Republic's Hero, to a soldier from Aleppo, who killed 28 Jewish soldiers. Mustafa Tlass is a Syrian army officer and politician who served as the Syria’s Minister of Defense from 1972 to 2004. The Jews abducted a Christian child and drained his blood, but because of the money they paid the Turkish ruler of Algeria, they managed to obscure the matter." On the other hand, the members of his family worked for the Ottoman suzerains as well as French occupiers after the First World War. London based Saudi weekly, 4–10 August 1984. [citation needed], In 1969, Tlass led a military mission to Beijing, and secured weapons deals with the Chinese government. In 2001, Al-Ahram published an article titled "A Jewish Matzah Made from Arab Blood" which summarized The Matzah of Zion, concluding that: "The bestial drive to knead Passover matzahs with the blood of non-Jews is [confirmed] in the records of the Palestinian police where there are many recorded cases of the bodies of Arab children who had disappeared being found, torn to pieces without a single drop of blood. [36] The book also reportedly served as a "scientific" basis for a renewal of the blood libel charge in international forums. [42], Tlass married Lamia Al Jabiri in 1958. [1] Yet this event had some unique elements due to the political circumstances at the time. '", "[In the meantime] a state arose for the Jews in Al-Sham [Greater Syria]. They pressured those of the accused who confessed and threatened them so they would withdraw their confessions… Similarly, the national authorities [in Syria], which oversaw the investigation, were accused of using torture to extract confessions from the accused [Jews]… If indeed torture took place, it was the acts of individuals with no connection whatsoever to Islamic law. How [could] this happen while the Jews are just a tiny minority in the heart of the societies in which they live? Monitoring the daily events in the occupied territories proves, beyond a doubt, that what is called 'Zionist racism' is only the continuation and refinement of Talmudic precepts…"[3], "With the publication of this book, I intended to illuminate some of the secrets of the Jewish religion by [describing] the actions of the Jews, their blind and repugnant fanaticism regarding their belief, and the implementation of the Talmudic precepts compiled in the Diaspora by their rabbis who distorted the principles of the Jewish belief (the religious law of the Prophet Moses), as it is said in the Koran [2:79]…"[4]. The “highly-regarded” Syrian defense minister Mustafa Tlass is the loathsome creep who wrote The Matzah of Zion, a book that presents the Damascus blood libel (that Jews use the blood of young Arabs to bake matzah bread) as historical fact. France undertook to defend the Catholics… All the sides agreed to resolve the affair in the Jewish style, by appeasing the parties with money. Mustafa Tlass [Russell Jesse] on Amazon.com.au. Tlass’s Book Cover Tlass allegedly told a Saudi magazine: "We sent Israel the bones of dogs, and Israel may protest as much as it likes. How have these societies ignored this hate-saturated minority?… Perhaps the atmosphere of tolerance instituted by the Muslim Arabs is what allowed the Jews to live in complete freedom in the Muslim Arab lands. Talas, Mostapha el. ", "They [convinced] the Austrian consul to intervene in the investigation in favor of some of the accused, on the pretext that they were Austrian subjects… Similarly, they exploited the tolerance of the Egyptian authorities and the French consul [in Istanbul], and contacted the accused to urge them to deny [all charges]. Haidar’s closeness to Rifaat al-Assad, who attempted a coup d’état and made Haidar his adviser, according to what was mentioned in Mustafa Tlass’s book “Three Months Shook Syria” in the 1980s, pushed the former regime to hold him accountable and to punish him. [5] Tlass is said to also have some Alawite family connections through his mother. [2], Tlass died on 27 June 2017 in Avicenne Hospital in Paris, France at the age of 85. [42] It is also reported that he is in Dubai. [31] He also published two-volume memoirs, namely Mirat Hayati (Reflections of my life) in 2005. [3] His hobbies are said to include horseback riding, tennis, and swimming. Three Must-Read Books on Syria. In a move deliberately calculated to antagonize the Soviet Union to stay out of the succession dispute then going on in Syria, Mustafa Tlass allowed himself to be photographed waving Mao Zedong's Little Red Book, just two months after bloody clashes between Chinese and Soviet armies on the Ussuri river. Tlass's book is known to be influential in international antisemitic circles as a reliable source of information on "ritual murder by the Jews." [37] After the death of Assad in 2000, a 9-member committee was formed to oversee the transition period, and Tlass was among its members. [45] Nahid Tlass has lived in Paris since the onset of Syrian uprising. Manaf’s father, the late Mustafa Tlass had been a pillar of the Ba’ath party establishment, unwaveringly loyal to Basher’s father, Hafez Assad, and served as his defense minister for 30-years. [2], Tlass joined the Ba'ath Party at the age of 15, and met Hafez al-Assad when studying at the military academy in Homs. Syrian politician and senior military officer who most notably was Syria’s Minister of Defense from 1972 to 2004. [18] His other party roles included the head of the party military bureau and chairman of the party military committee. Mustafa Abdul Qadir Tlass (Arabic: مُصْطَفَى عَبْد الْقَادِر طَلَاس‎, romanized: Musṭafā ʿAbd al-Qādir Ṭalās; 11 May 1932 – 27 June 2017) was a Syrian senior military officer and politician who was Syria's minister of defense from 1972 to 2004. In spring 2011, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turned to his friend and army commander, Manaf Tlass, for advice about how to respond to Arab Spring-inspired protests. ", "The crime took place in Damascus, a city of tolerance and peace, just as many similar [crimes] took place in other parts of the world. Follow. The covers of both editions show a man with his throat slashed and his blood collecting in a basin. The West had known many similar crimes, as had Czarist Russia. The governor of Al-Sham decided to execute the criminals, [but] at this point the foreign states and their consulates began to play a major role. Antisemitic book in which he tried to prove the truths of the blood libel published against Jews. Tlass opened a publishing house in Damascus and was the first person to try to uncover pre-Ba'ath Syria in an objective manner. Mustafa Tlass was born on May 11, 1932 in Al-Rastan, Syrian, is Senior officer. Tlass was born in Rastan in 1964. “ Among the military arrangements was a 1 billion dollar Israeli Russian sale of military aircraft to China, which were to be jointly produced by Russia and Israel. [However,] the Jews did not settle for this, but sought to wipe out what was written on Father Tomas's grave in the Franciscan church: 'Here lie the bones of the Capuchin missionary Father Tomas, murdered by the Jews on February 5, 1840'…"[2], "The 1840 incident recurred several times in the 20th century when the Zionists carried out the mass crimes in Palestine and Lebanon – acts that shocked the conscience of good people all over the world and were condemned by world public opinion. He was educated in Homs, and entered the Homs Military Academy in 1952. ", "[Furthermore], the Jewish leaders in Europe and America swung into action, and exploited their financial and media influence to urge the great powers to intervene in their favor. Mustafa Tlass About. [citation needed] Tensions within the government soon became apparent, however, with al-Assad emerging as the prime proponent of a pragmatist, military-based faction opposed to the ideological radicalism of the dominant ultra-leftists. The accused were released from Damascus prison and went to Muhammad 'Ali Pasha's Egypt… Some 150 years have passed since that crime, and still the crime has lost nothing of its gravity, since over time the small crime has developed into a large crime, and a powerful connection remains between the two. Generation after generation has passed on this message of the 'treachery of the Jews. Hafez al-Assad, an Alawite, and Mustafa Tlass, a Sunni, both came from rural peasant families. The story is … [However], it rapidly overcame its ignorance about [the Jews]... and now every mother warns [her son]: 'Be careful not to stray far from home, lest the Jew comes, puts you in his sack, takes you, and slaughters you and drains your blood in order to prepare the 'matza of Zion' [the Passover matzos].' This sparked a grave international crisis because of the dangers this unification posed to European interests… During this stormy time, Damascus was shocked by a terrible crime – the priest Tomas Al-Kaboushi [the Capuchin] fell victim to a group of Jews who sought to drain his blood to prepare baked goods for their Yom Kippur holiday [sic]. [citation needed], In 1998, Syrian Defense Minister Tlass boasted to Al Bayan newspaper that he was the one who gave the green light to "the resistance" in Lebanon to attack and kill 241 US marines and 58 French paratroopers, but that he prevented attacks on the Italian soldiers of the multi-national force because "I do not want a single tear falling from the eyes of [Italian actress] Gina Lollobrigida, whom [I] loved ever since my youth. "[26], During his career, Tlass also became known for colorful language. [citation needed] When Hafez al-Assad was briefly imprisoned by Nasser at the breakup of the union, Tlass fled and rescued his wife and sons to Syria. [2] In 1952, he entered the Homs Military Academy. When Hafez al-Assad was briefly imprisoned by Nasserat the breakup of the union, Tlass fled and … The second edition, published in 1986, was purportedly more 'scientific' than the first; footnotes were added to ground the allegations, and the appendix featured photocopies of official documents (with accompanying Arabic translation) exchanged by the French Consulate in Damascus, the French General Consulate in Alexandria, and the French government, regarding the affair. The elder Mr. Assad built the family's power base around members of his Alawite sect as … It tells the story of Hafez al-Assad and his son Bashar and their rule in Syria. Today, the London Arabic daily Al-Hayat[1] reported that Ba'ath party leader for decades Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass's book "The Matzah of Zion," which presents the Damascus blood libel of 1840 as a "historical fact,"[2] enjoyed high popularity at the international book fair held in … In his introduction, he wondered how such a terrible crime could have happened in a place like Damascus. *FREE* shipping on eligible orders. [2] On the other hand, the members of his family also worked for the French occupiers after the First World War. [42] Mustafa Tlass left for France for what he described as medical treatment. Plus, he wrote poems and history. The truth about Syria in the age of fake -news and propaganda. [40] Tlass also quit the regional command in 2005. He reminds the Arabs that "sovereignty cannot be divided, and no foreigner must impinge upon it. Other Informations. He is the son of the former Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass and Lamia Al Jabiri, a member of an aristocratic Aleppo family. 80's. "[34], The succession of Bashar al-Assad, Hafez's son, seems to have been secured by a group of senior officials, including Tlass. "A crush on Lollobrigida benefited Italian troops", "Syria's Foreign Relations: The Palestinian Authority", Former Syrian Minister of Defense Mustafa Tlass Displays Personal Memorabilia and Reminisces about His Imaginary Affairs with Actress Gina Lollobrigida and Lady Di, "Syrian Defense Minister General Mustafa Tlas: Memoirs, Volume 2", An Anti-Jewish Book Linked to Syrian Aide, "Literature Based on Mixed Sources – Classic Blood Libel: Mustafa Tlas' Matzah of Zion". [citation needed], Under cover of the 1970 "Corrective Revolution", Hafez al-Assad seized power and installed himself as Dictator. Competent and formally-trained battlefield commanders entered the ranks of the fledgling rebellion, from a young relative of former Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass [vi] to Hussein Harmoush, a career officer of the Syrian army and a Colonel in the 11th armored division of Syria’s Third Corps. Austria undertook to defend the Jews. Tlass attempted to create a reputation for himself as a man of culture, and emerged as an important patron of Syrian literature. [29], In an interview which aired RT on 8 June 2009 (as translated by MEMRI), Tlass claimed that actress Gina Lollobrigida had once told him that he was the "one love in my life." In 1991, when Syria was participating on the Coalition side in the Gulf War, he stated that he felt "an overwhelming joy" when Saddam Hussein sent SCUD-missiles towards Israel. Tlass was a close friend of Basil Assad, Hafez Assad's eldest son a… [3], During the 1960s, Hafez al-Assad rose to prominence in the Syrian government through the 1963 coup d'état, backed by the Ba'ath party. Born in a Sunni Muslim family, he joined the military academy after completing his primary and secondary education from a local school,. ", "This crime was not the first of its kind. Tlass, who served as defense minister in 1972-2004, joined the Syrian Ba'th Party in 1972 after participating in the 1966 Neo-Ba'th coup that ousted president Amin Al-Hafiz. In his introduction, he wondered how such a terrible crime could have happened in a place like Damascus. [15], On 19 October 1999, defence minister of China, General Chi Haotian, after meeting with Mustafa Tlass in Damascus to discuss expanding military ties between Syria and China, flew directly to Israel and met with Ehud Barak, the then prime minister and defence minister of Israel where they discussed military relations. 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