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Syria: President Assad suffers brief drop in blood pressure

Syrian President Bashar Assad interrupted a speech he was giving to parliament after he suffered a brief drop in blood pressure, the Syrian presidency said Wednesday.

The office said the speech was halted for “several minutes” because of a “mild” case of low blood pressure he suffered, after which he continued the speech as normal.

The presidency's Facebook page posted that the speech would be aired later Wednesday. It did not provide further details. Assad, 54, is not known to have any specific health condition.

Assad gave the speech Wednesday on the occasion of the first parliament session after elections were held last month. The vote was the third to take place in Syria since Syria's conflict began in 2011.

The elections also coincided with Syria’s worst economic crisis and a currency crash, which has dragged more of the country’s population into poverty.