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Syrian President Bashar Assad's face on new bank note

A new 2,000 Syrian Lira (£3) bank note with the face of President Bashar Assad is going into circulation, the Syrian Central Bank has announced.

The notes are the first time Syria will depict President Assad on its currency since he took office 17 years ago.

President Assad's face appears on the new banknotes at a time when his government is boasting military successes against the armed rebellion across the country.

The currency previously only carried images of historic icons or pictures of his father, Hafez Assad.

Central Bank governor Duraid Durgham said the new bank notes will go into circulation starting on Sunday "due to the wear and tear" affecting currency currently in circulation.

Syria's currency has crashed as the country's seven-year-long war rages on.

Trading at 47 lira to the dollar in 2011, it is currently going for 517 lira to the dollar.

Inflation has also soared, reaching an all-time high in 2013, at over 120%. Estimates in 2016 put the inflation rate at 50%.

AP

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