Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad made a rare public visit on Wednesday to the Umayyad electrical plant in Tishreen Garden of Damascus electrical plant in central Damascus to congratulate its workers and Syria’s workers on Labor Day, the state-run news agency SANA reported.
“Terrorists and those who support them are trying to plunge the country into darkness,” state media quoted Assad as telling the workers, “whether on the intellectual or social level or by depriving citizens of basic services, chiefly electricity.”
He praised Syria’s workers, saying they had “proven again during the war targeting our country that they will always be the country’s strength and that the attacks targeting infrastructure will not stop them from pursuing their national duty.”
Assad, whose government is battling a violent opposition now in its third year, rarely appears in public.
Electricity production has fallen by nearly half since the March 2011 beginning of the conflict in Syria because of insecurity on the country’s roads has led to shortages of the fuel that powers electricity plants.