Syrian President Says Parliamentary Vote to Be Held as Scheduled ‘No Matter What’

15:08 GMT 04.03.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Wednesday that the country’s parliamentary elections would be held as scheduled in any case.

“The lawmaker elections will be held in a few months, they will be held on time, no matter what,” Assad in an interview with Russia’s state-owned Rossiya 24 TV channel.

On Tuesday, Assad’s press service said that the president issued an order slating the parliamentary election for April 13.

The last parliamentary vote in the country was held in 2016 with 3,500 candidates vying for 250 seats in the country’s parliament.

The president’s statement comes amid an escalation of tensions in the country’s northern Idlib province after local terrorist groups, like Hayat Tahrir al-Sham*, intensified attacks on Syrian government positions, sometimes under the cover of Turkish artillery fire.

Damascus’ forces responded to these attacks with Turkish soldiers getting caught in the crossfire. 

Turkey vowed to retaliate for the attack on its forces and initiated the military campaign Spring Shield, which allegedly aims to force the Syrian Army to retreat to the positions, set in the 2018 Sochi agreements.

*Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (also known as Jabhat al-Nusra, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, or al-Qaeda in Syria) are terrorist organisations banned in Russia

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