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Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad was sworn in Wednesday for a new seven-year term in a red carpet ceremony in Damascus, after an election his opponents had slammed as a “farce”. Assad swore by the Koran before the country’s parliamentarians in an extraordinary session, 40 months into a conflict estimated to have killed more than 170,000 people. “Syrians, three years and four months… have passed since some cried ‘freedom’,” he said, referring to the start of a March 2011 revolt that demanded his ouster. “They wanted a revolution, but you have been the real revolutionaries. I congratulate you for your revolution and for your victory,” Assad told his supporters.



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