Face of Bashar al-Assad Placed on New Syrian Bank Note

The Syrian Central Bank has announced that a new 2,000 Syrian Lira bank note ($3.9) will go into circulation. The notes are the first time the face of President Bashar Assad appears on the Syrian currency since he took office 17 years ago.

Assad’s face appears on the new banknotes at a time when his government is boasting military successes against the armed rebellion around Syria. 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 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 liras to the dollar in 2011, it’s currently going for 517 liras to the dollar.

Source: Associated Press