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Chief of Lebanon's Hezbollah hails Assad's win in Syrian presidential election

  • Mideast-Palestinians-support-Nasrallah

    Syrian people from Julan and Palestinians hold a poster of the leader Hassan Nasrallah and the Hezbollah flag during a rally to support Syria in Balata refugees camp in the West Bank city of Nablus.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Mideast-Syria-544

    This photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows smoke rising from a damaged building which was attacked by a government airstrike, in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday June 3, 2014. Waving photos of their leader and dancing with flags, tens of thousands of Syrians pledged renewed allegiance to President Bashar Assad as they voted Tuesday across government-controlled parts of the country in a presidential election decried by the opposition as a charade. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center, AMC)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mideast-Palestinians-support-Nasrallah

Syrian people from Julan and Palestinians hold a poster of the leader Hassan Nasrallah and the Hezbollah flag during a rally to support Syria in Balata refugees camp in the West Bank city of Nablus.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

BEIRUT — The chief of the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group today hailed Syrian President Bashar Assad’s victory in the country’s presidential election this week, saying the “massive” turnout shows the war and the West’s conspiracy against Syria have failed.

Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has been a staunch Assad ally throughout the bloody three-year-long conflict next door. Members of the Lebanese Shiite group are fighting alongside Assad’s forces in Syria’s civil war.

The balloting on Tuesday was only held in government-controlled parts of Syria, and Assad won another seven-year term, garnering 88.7 percent of the votes, according to the authorities. Syria’s Supreme Constitutional Court put the turnout at 73.42 percent.

The election was a “great victory for Syria,” Nasrallah told his supporters during a function in the Hezbollah’s southern Beirut stronghold.

From now on, he added, “any political solution in Syria starts and ends with the President Dr. Bashar Assad.”

Syria’s opposition and the West have denounced the election as a farce. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called it a “great big zero.”

“This is your zero,” Nasrallah shot back at Kerry on today, adding that the Syrian election result was a “political and popular declaration of the failure of the war on Syria.”

Syria’s conflict started in March 2011 with largely peaceful protests against Assad’s rule but evolved into an armed uprising and a civil war that has so far killed more than 160,000 people, a third of whom were civilians, according to opposition activists.

Damascus says it is facing a Western conspiracy because of its support for groups opposed to the United States and Israel in the region.

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