Fahd Jassem al-Freij

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Fahd Jassem al-Freij
فهد جاسم الفريج
Fahd Jasem al-Freij.jpg
Member of the Regional Command of the Syrian Regional Branch
Assumed office
22 April 2017
Minister of Defense
In office
18 July 2012 – 1 January 2018
Prime MinisterRiyad Farid Hijab
Wael Nader al-Halqi
Imad Khamis
Preceded byDawoud Rajiha
Succeeded byAli Abdullah Ayyoub
Chief of the General Staff of the Army and the Armed Forces
In office
8 August 2011 – 18 July 2012
PresidentBashar al-Assad
Defense MinisterDawoud Rajiha
Preceded byDawoud Rajiha
Succeeded byAli Abdullah Ayyoub
Personal details
Born (1950-01-17) 17 January 1950 (age 71)
Rahjan, Syria
Political partySyrian Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
Military service
Allegiance Syria
Branch/serviceSyrian Arab Army
Years of service1971–Present
RankSyria-Feriq Awal.jpg Colonel General
UnitArmoured Corps
CommandsSpecial Forces Operations Staff

Fahd Jassem al-Freij (Arabic: فهد جاسم الفريج‎)[1] (born 17 January 1950) is the former Minister of Defense of Syria, took office on 18 July 2012 and left office on 1 January 2018.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Freij was born in Rahjan in a Sunni Arab tribe on 17 January 1950. He joined the Syrian Arab Army in 1968, and graduated as an armoured corps lieutenant from the Homs Military Academy in 1971.

Freij attended different courses and a higher military education:

  • Bachelor in Military Sciences, Armoured Officer, Homs Military Academy, in 1971,
  • Staff Course,
  • Airborne paratroops course,
  • General Command and Staff Course,
  • Higher Staff Course (War Course).


On 8 August 2011, Freij was appointed Chief of Staff of the Syrian Arab Army during the Syrian civil war. In December 2011, defected Syrian Army officers reported that prior to his appointment of Chief of Staff, al-Freij commanded the Syrian Army Special Forces in the regions of Daraa, Idlib and Hama during the Syrian uprising.

However, on 18 July 2012, after Defense Minister Dawoud Rajiha was assassinated in the 2012 Damascus bombing, Freij was appointed by Bashar al-Assad to succeed Rajiha.[1] He was also named as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Army and the Armed Forces.[3]

On 1 January 2018, Lieutenant General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub was the successor of al-Freij as Minister of Defense.[2]


  1. ^ a b "President al-Assad Appoints Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Army and the Armed Forces and Minister of Defense". Syrian Arab News Agency. 18 July 2012. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Syria's Assad names new defense and other ministers: state TV". Reuters. 1 January 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Bombing in Syria reportedly kills two top officials". Los Angeles Times. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.