Douba, Ali Issa Ibrahim (Called Abu Firas; 1933–)

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DOUBA, ALI ISSA IBRAHIM (called Abu Firas; 1933–)

Syrian military officer, Alawite, born at Karfis, in the Matawira tribe. Ali Douba entered the army in 1955 and five years later became the deputy head of internal security in Damascus. He was a military attaché in Great Britain between 1964 and 1966, and in Bulgaria between 1967 and 1968. He returned to Syria and became the head of military intelligence for the Latakia region. In November 1970, as head of military intelligence for the city of Damascus, he supported Hafiz al-Asad's coup d'état. In 1971, he was deputy to the head of army intelligence, Hikmat al-Shihabi. Three years later he was made head of this department. Elected to the central committee of the Baʿth Party in 1978, he was promoted to general in 1981. In December 1983, when President Hafiz al-Asad was ill, Douba was a member of the committee responsible for governing the state in the interim. In 1985, the Syrian president put him in charge of the Lebanon dossier, along with al-Shihabi and Ghazi Kanaan. In June 1987, he escaped an assassination attempt. Named lieutenant general in 1993, he became assistant to al-Shihabi, who was now the army chief of staff, while remaining in charge of military intelligence. General Douba was one of the most influential figures in al-Asad's regime. At the beginning of 2000, increasingly marginalized as Bashshar al-Asad, the son of the president, prepared to take power, he retired from his position as head of Syrian military intelligence and was replaced by his deputy, Hassan Khalil.

SEE ALSO Asad, Bashshar al-;Asad, Hafiz al-;Shihabi, Hikmat al-.