The Grand Collier in the Legion of Honor
© Francois Mori / Reuters
The Grand Collier in the Legion of Honor
President Bashar Assad has surrendered his Legion of Honor award, France's most prestigious decoration, given to him by Jacques Chirac in 2001, saying he will not wear honors bestowed by a "slave country" that bombs Syria.

"The ministry of foreign affairs... has returned to the French republic... the decoration of the Grand Croix of the Légion d'honneur awarded to President Assad," the Syrian Presidency announced on Twitter, noting that the medal was returned to Paris through the Romanian Embassy representing French interests in the country.

The decision to return the French state's highest honor was made over the "participation of France in the tripartite aggression" against Syria on April 14. Following the US-led strikes, which also involved British air power, Bashar found it unacceptable to wear [an] award issued by a "slave country and follower of the United States" that supports terrorists and violates the "most elementary norms and principles of the International law," an announcement tweet reads, citing presidential sources.


Earlier, French news outlets reported that Paris had initiated a procedure to revoke the Legion of Honor award to the Syrian president. Previously, France revoked the awards given to American cyclist Lance Armstrong, British designer John Galliano and also Harvey Weinstein, after allegations of sexual harassment by the Hollywood producer surfaced. Assad was made a knight of the Legion of Honor back in 2001, when he met former French president Jacques Chirac.

EX-French president, Jacques Chirac (R), and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

EX-French president, Jacques Chirac (R), and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad