France has launched the process of revoking Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Legion of Honor, the country’s highest award, Agence France-Presse reported, citing an unnamed source in the French president’s office. The move comes after a number of western nations accused the Syrian president, who had been awarded the honor back in 2001 by then-incumbent president Jacques Chirac, of an alleged chemical attack on civilians in Eastern Ghouta.
While Macron’s government is reconsidering Assad’s award, it’s worth recalling that Benito Mussolini, the Duce of fascism, had been decorated with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor in 1923 straight after creating his party, and his name has not been removed from the list of recipients.
In 2016, the French people were shaken when President Francois Hollande awarded the Legion d’Honneur to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef for his “efforts in the fight against terrorism and extremism,” with many opponents of capital punishment shaming Hollande and Nayef. The issue has drawn much criticism since a mass execution of alleged terrorists, including a prominent Shia cleric, in January 2016.
The Legion of Honor award, France’s highest decoration for military and civil merits, was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.
*Daesh, also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS, a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries