Syrian President Bashar al Assad hands back his Legion D’Honneur after missile attack 

  • 52-year-old despot was given the award in 2001, soon after he took office 
  • Award handed to the Romanian embassy in Syrian, which handles French affairs
  • Syrians said decoration awarded by a ‘slave regime of the United States’

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has sent a prestigious French award back in the post – saying he does not want to be honoured by ‘a slave regime of the United States that supports terrorism’.

The 52-year-old despot was made a top-ranking member of the National Order of the Legion d’Honneur in 2001, when he took office.

But the medal has caused considerable embarrassment in recent years, as Assad began massacring his own citizens during the on-going civil war in Syria.

A picture released on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Facebook page shows a foreign affairs official giving France’s Legion d’Honneur Grand Croix award to a representative from the embassy of Romania, which represents French interests in Syria

A week ago French, American and British forces bombed chemical weapons facilities run by Assad, prompting fury from his regime.

President Emmanuel Macron’s government began proceedings to have the Legion d’Honneur rescinded, but Assad has now got rid of the award himself.

An Assad spokesman said: ‘The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has officially returned the decoration of Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor granted to President Assad by former French President Jacques Chirac.’

He said that it was posted back to Paris via the Romanian Embassy in Damascus because it was ‘a decoration awarded by a slave regime of the United States that supports terrorism.’ 

Syrian president Bashar el-Assad awarded French Legion d'Honneur medal by French president Jacques Chirac at the Elysee Palace

Syrian president Bashar el-Assad awarded French Legion d’Honneur medal by French president Jacques Chirac at the Elysee Palace

The spokesman accused France in taking part in ‘tripartite aggression alongside the United States and the United Kingdom’.

The Damascus strikes followed a chemical weapons attack carried out by Assad’s forces on April 7 in the Syrian city of Douma.

Around 3000 people a year receive the controversial Legion d’Honneur, which was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.

Other recipients include Russian president Vladimir Putin, and the late Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

Sex scandal Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein also got one, as did disgraced cycling drugs cheat Lance Armstrong.