DAMASCUS, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Syria's President Bashar al-Assad performed the special morning prayers of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr feast in the central city of Hama on Sunday, his first declared visit to that city during the six-year war.
Flanked by the ministers of religious endowment and the grand mufti of Syria, Assad prayed at the al-Nouri mosque in Hama, according to the state news agency SANA.
The imam, leading the prayers, said that Syria is on the road toward victory, adding that Assad gave several signals that "the crisis has become behind our backs" and that "there is no backing in fighting terrorism and corruption."
During previous Eid feasts, Assad performed the special prayers in mosques inside the capital, but this time the president's visit to Hama aims to showcase confidence and power.
This comes as the Syrian forces, backed by Russia and Shiite fighters of Hezbollah, have been making strides against the Islamic State (IS) group in several parts of the country, mostly in the sprawling Syrian desert, close to the Iraqi and Jordanian borders.