(FILES) Picture dated 1997 shows Bashar al-Assad, son of President Hafez al-Assad. According to diplomats, a reshuffle at the top of the Syrian military presages further changes in Damascus designed to clear the way for veteran President Hafez al-Assad to hand over to his younger son Bashar. / AFP PHOTO / AFP FILES / RAMZI HAIDAR        (Photo credit should read RAMZI HAIDAR/AFP/Getty Images)