The final episode of this fascinating series asked how an awkward, people-pleasing doctor turned into a dictator who went to war against his people
The third and final instalment of A Dangerous Dynasty: House of Assad (BBC Two) began with an interview with a Syrian doctor. Zaher Sahloul went to medical school with the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and was acquainted with him in those days. “It’s very ironic,” he said. “We’re classmates and one of us is bombing hospitals. And one of us is treating the victims of the bombing.”
That comment sums up the question this fascinating and horrifying series sought to answer. How did a shy, awkward, people-pleasing ophthalmologist become a murderous tyrant? How did someone trained to heal the sick end up killing more than half a million Syrians?