17.07.2021 – 18:38
Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has been sworn in as president to launch a fourth seven-year term in Syria. This comes after the May elections since the opposition were branded as manipulated.
Assad on July 17 called on Syrians to return to their homeland and thanked those who voted for him. “You proved with your consciousness and patriotic connection that people do not compromise with their determination to defend their rights, regardless of the tricks of the colonialists,” he said.
Based on the disputed official results, Assad won 95.1 percent of the vote in the May 26 election, which was held in the government-controlled part of the state. Syria has been gripped by a civil war since 2011 and nearly half of the pre-war population has been displaced or fled the country. Nearly half a million people have been killed and tens of thousands are missing.
According to United Nations figures, 80 percent of the population lives in poverty. Inflation is unstoppable and the official currency of the state is falling sharply. Although fighting has subsided in recent months, about 40 percent of the country remains out of government control. Foreign forces and foreign-backed forces are active within Syria’s borders. The Assad government is backed by Russia and Iran, both of which have sent military forces and other aid to it during the conflict. Assad has ruled Syria since 2000, following the death of his father, who seized power through a coup in 1970.