Assad returns Legion of Honour award to France over Syria airstrikes

Syrian President Bashar Assad has returned his Legion of Honour award (Grand Croix of the Légion d’honneur), France’s most prestigious decoration, given to him by Jacques Chirac in 2001, saying he will not wear honours bestowed by a “slave country” that bombs his nation. Earlier, reports from Paris indicated that the French government had started taking steps to revoke the Legion of Honour award to Assad. The decision to return the honour through the Romanian Embassy representing French interests in Syria was taken after France joined the US and UK airstrikes against Syrian military and civilian infrastructures on April 14. According to a tweet from the presidential office announcing the decision, Assad found it revolting 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”. Assad made a smart move before France could humiliate him by revoking the award. Earlier, France had revoked the award of US cyclist Lance Armstrong for doping, British designer John Galliano for anti-Semitic remarks and film producer Harvey Weinstein for sexual misconduct.