1 of 7 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad , his brother Maher and brother-in-law Asef Shawkat stand during funeral of late President Hafez al-Assad in Damascus Reuters Syrian President Bashar al-Assad , his brother Maher and brother-in-law Asef Shawkat stand during funeral of late President Hafez al-Assad in Damascus Reuters Farouk al-Shara 60, Vice President. He served as Syria's ambassador to Italy from 1976 to 1980, as deputy foreign minister from 1980 to 1984, and became foreign minister in March 1984. He participated in negotiations with Lebanon and in two attempts to negotiate a reconciliation with Israel in 1991 and 2000.Sharaa became vice-president of Syria in 2006. Reuters Maher was born on 8 December 1967 and is the youngest of Hafez al-Assad's four sons. He was just two years old when his father became president. He studied business at Damascus University, before following his older brother Basil into the military. Reuters Mahmud has been in the military his entire life. He was born in 1939 in Tartus joined the Syrian army in 1959 at age twenty, and graduated from the military academy in 1966. He gradually moved up the ranks and commanded a regiment from 1971-75, then an infantry brigade from 1978-84. Reuters He was born in 1953.Ghazali was appointed by Assad in 2002 as the head of intelligence in Lebanon until the forced pull-out of Syrian forces on April 26, 2005. On orders from Damascus, Ghazali was said to decide who should be chosen for the Lebanese government's top positions. Reuters Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem Reuters He was born in Aleppo in 1944, and studied architecture. He has a diploma in urban planning from the Netherlands and is fluent in English and French. He became Prime Minister in September 2003 and was considered as a strong long-serving member of the ruling Ba’ath Party. Reuters
Despite months of protests the Syrian regime, Assad's inner circle has remained loyal and launched a brutal supression against the democracy movement, that has left thousands dead.
They are not men who are likely to be affected by the latest resolution passed by United Nations human rights committee condemning Syria's crackdown on opposition protests.The move comes as Syrian activists said another 22 people, including five children, had been killed across Syria.
Many of Assad strongmen served under his father, the late Hafez-al-Assad and his family members are also important players in the regime.