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August 30, 2014

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In this Sunday, April 20, 2014 file photo, released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, visits the Christian village of Maaloula, near Damascus, Syria. Two years ago, it seemed almost inevitable that President Bashar Assad would be toppled. Almost no one thinks that now. As he prepares for elections through which he is set to claim another seven-year mandate for himself, the momentum in the civil war is clearly in Assad's favor.

SANA

In this Sunday, April 20, 2014 file photo, released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, visits the Christian village of Maaloula, near Damascus, Syria. Two years ago, it seemed almost inevitable that President Bashar Assad would be toppled. Almost no one thinks that now. As he prepares for elections through which he is set to claim another seven-year mandate for himself, the momentum in the civil war is clearly in Assad's favor.