[Marxism] Syria Comment » Archives "Who Was Hilal al-Assad?" By Mohammad D. » Syria Comment

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Apr 7 07:20:01 MDT 2014

Hilal amassed a fortune from smuggling. But, once Syrian markets were 
opened in the 1990s, smuggling dried up. Hilal, like Fawwaz and the 
other original shabiha, who benefited from the trade restrictions of the 
1980′s, had to find a new occupation. Some say that Hilal joined the 
military academy for a bit before enrolling in Latakia’s Tishreen 
University, where he studied business. Ultimately, he acquired a degree, 
but I have been told by a friend of his:

     He never attended a class and only showed up at the university to 
sit for exams.  The only challenging part of his formal education was to 
struggle not to make mistakes copying the answers that he had passed to 

Hilal was able to secure a good plum position in one of the most 
lucrative state industries. In 1998, he was appointed head of Branch 202 
in the Mu’assasat al-Iskan al-Askari.  This meant that Hilal run the 
Latakia branch of a  construction company owned and financed by the 
defense ministry. It was responsible for housing projects, building 
dams, and sometimes built roads. al-Iskan al-Askari was established 
during the rule of Hafez al-Assad and was first headed by Khalil 
al-Bahlul, who turned it into a construction giant in the Syrian 
building sector.

Hilal did not have a good reputation at work.  He is accused of holding 
back the salaries of the employees for months, making a profit on 
putting it in the newly formed private banks in the area and abroad. 
When workers complained about their late wages, they had to face 
Military Intelligence, which Hilal would summon to deal with them.  At 
this era, Hilal would still stay out of the limelight for most of the 
time.  He would spend most of his night playing cards with the same 
group: a famous Alawite heart doctor and two rich Sunnis: a man from 
al-Jud family and another from al-Zein family.  Hilal also loved horses. 
  He collected them and kept them in the stables of the Sports Complex. 
Some say that these stables were used as Hilal’s private prison.  These 
allegations are yet to be confirmed, as well many tashbeeh stories about 

full: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/hilal-al-assad-mohammad-d/

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