Assad says conflict has cost Syria more than $200 billion

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad stands next to his wife Asma, as he addresses injured soldiers and their mothers during a celebration marking Syrian Mother's Day in Damascus, in this handout picture provided by SANA on March 21, 2016. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters (Reuters)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The conflict in Syria has cost the country more than $200 billion, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Russia's RIA news agency published on Wednesday. "The economic damage and damage to infrastructure exceeded $200 billion... Restoring infrastructure will take a long time", he said. (Reporting by Lidia Kelly, Writing by Denis Pinchuk, Editing by Christian Lowe)