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Damascus announces parliamentary polls on 13 April

Assad's forces hold more than 70 percent of Syrian soil [AFP]

Date of publication: 3 March, 2020

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The polls, to be held across regime-controlled parts of Syria, are the third such elections in the country since the start of its nine-year civil war.
President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday said parliamentary elections would be held in war-torn Syria on 13 April.

The polls, to be held across regime-controlled parts of Syria, are the third such elections in the country since the start of its nine-year civil war.

Assad's forces today hold more than 70 percent of Syrian soil following victories against rebels and jihadis with Russian backing since 2015.

During the last polls in 2016, Syria's ruling Baath party and its allies won a majority of the chamber's 250 seats.

The United Nations refused to recognise the results.

The Baath party has governed Syria with an iron fist for the past half-century.

But in 2012, Damascus for the first time allowed candidates from outside the party to run in legislative elections.

Areas outside government control include the northwestern region of Idlib, where regime forces are waging a deadly campaign against jihadists and Turkey-backed rebels.

Read also: Syria Weekly: Turkey retaliation blocks regime's advance in Idlib

Turkish forces have become directly involved in fighting since last week, downing several regime jets as bombardment has killed dozens of troops on each side.

Turkey also controls a large swathe of borderland in northeastern Syria, while US-backed, Kurdish-led fighters are present in the oil-rich east.

The Syrian conflict has killed more than 500,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011.

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