President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday was forced to interrupt a speech to members of the People’s Assembly, and told the lawmakers he had to “sit down for a minute,” after suffering a drop in blood pressure. Assad then left the hall and came back an undetermined time later – the video was cut before his departure and restarted with the president back behind the podium.
Wednesday’s meeting was supposed to be held under the dome of the People’s Assembly, but in light of the measures taken to confront the coronavirus, the session was held at the People’s Palace.
Assad, 54, started looking tired about 30 minutes into his speech, stopping twice for a water break, telling his audience, “My blood pressure has dropped and I need to drink water.” A short while later, he told his audience, “I need to sit for a minute if you don’t mind,” and walked out of the room.
According to SANA, in his speech, “the president reaffirmed that Golan remains in the heart of every honest Syrian, its status won’t be changed by the annexation decision of the government of a Zionist entity or an immoral US regime, and our right to regain it is inseparable from our right to liberate all our lands from terrorism.”
He added that “there is no difference between a local or imported terrorist, a Zionist soldier, Turkish or American one, all of them are enemies on our territory.”
According to Aljazeera, Syria has seen a rising number of coronavirus infections recently, although the overall reported numbers remain low with 1,327 confirmed cases and 53 deaths. Limited testing facilities and Syrian government control over pandemic statistics have led to concerns that the real number of cases is much higher than that reported.