The president of 14 years delivered a defiant speech after being sworn in on the Koran and the constitution, repeatedly taking aim at the West and Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab monarchies who have funded and armed the rebels during three years of civil war, Reuters reported.
“Soon we will see the Arab, regional and Western states that supported terrorism pay a high price,” he said in a televised speech.
“I repeat my call today to those who were misled to put down their guns, because we will not stop fighting terrorism and striking it wherever it is until we restore security to every spot of Syria,” Mr. Assad said.
Western countries dismissed the June 3 election as a farce, which saw 88.7 percent of the votes go toward Mr. Assad. The election was held only in regime-controlled territories and the two other candidates were seen as mere figureheads, rather than genuine opponents, Al Jazeera reported.
“They wanted a revolution, but you have been the real revolutionaries. I congratulate you for your revolution and for your victory,” Mr. Assad said Wednesday.
“Those who lost their way can now see clearly… the monstrous faces have been unveiled, the mask of freedom and the revolution has fallen,” he said.