© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks to members of the new parliament in Damascus, Syria, in this handout released by SANA on August 12, 2020. SANA/REUTERS Handout
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad celebrated the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha in Aleppo on Saturday, his first since 2016 when his forces recaptured the northern city with the help of Russia and other allied forces Visit this northern city.
A statement by the Syrian state news agency SANA said Assad joined other senior government officials for Eid al-Adha prayers at the Ibn Abbas mosque.
In his speech, Assad said he visited the historic market and unveiled a thermal power plant expected to generate 200 megawatts, according to SANA.
The city generated 1,000 megawatts of electricity before fighting erupted in 2012, the year of the uprising against Assad.
With the help of Russian warplanes and Iranian-backed armed groups, his forces recaptured the city in late 2016. Tehran then signed an agreement to repair five power plants in Aleppo.
The fighting has left much of the city’s infrastructure in ruins, and it has also damaged the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.