On July 17, Syrian President Bashar Assad was sworn in for a fourth seven-year presidential term in the war-torn country.
Assad garnered 95.1% of the vote in the May 26 presidential election, in which officials said turnout was 78.6% of some 18 million registered voters. The elections were described by the West and Assad’s opponents as illegitimate.
The President was sworn in on the constitution and the Koran in the presence of more than 600 guests, including ministers, businessmen, academics, journalists, artists, senior military officers and veteran soldiers.
In his inauguration speech, Assad said that the elections “have proven the strength of popular legitimacy that the people have conferred to the state”.
“[They] have discredited the declarations of Western officials on the legitimacy of the state, the constitution and the homeland,” the President added, referring to millions of Syrians who took part in the elections.
Assad went on to touch on several internal and external challenges facing Syria today, including the unprecedented economic crisis.
The President also vowed, yet again, to liberate Syrian territory occupied by the US and Turkish forces with support from his main allies.
“We have set our sight on liberating the rest of our land from the terrorists and their Turkish and American sponsors,” Assad said. “We are confident in the role of friends such as Iran and Russia, whose stand with us had a great impact on the liberation [of our land].”
A day earlier, the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria warned that militants based in the northwestern region of Greater Idlib are plotting a fake chemical attack on the day of the president’s inauguration. However, no incidents were reported during the inauguration ceremony.
Assad begins his fourth term as the President of Syria upended by Western pressure, which failed to achieve anything aside from inciting a destructive war.
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