NEWLY SWORN-IN ASSAD WARNS WEST OF BACKFIRE

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DAMASCUS: President Bashar al-Assad was sworn in on Wednesday for a new term, warning Western and Arab governments of the backfire they face for their support of the armed revolt in Syria. In a triumphant speech before an invited audience after taking the oath of office at a red carpet ceremony in Damascus, Assad mocked the “fake spring” of the 2011 Arab uprisings. Assad, 48, won a June election denounced as a “farce” by his detractors, three years into a devastating war that has killed more than 170,000 people and uprooted millions. “Syrians, three years and four months . . . have passed since some cried ‘freedom’,” Assad said in his address, broadcast live on national television, referring to the outbreak of the 2011 revolt. “They wanted a revolution, but you have been the real revolutionaries. I congratulate you for your revolution and for your victory,” he told supporters at the start of a new seven-year term.

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AFP

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