Syrian President Assad to be sworn in for 3rd term

Syrians carry foodstuff as they return to the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh, following the entry of some 13 Syrian Red Crescent trucks loaded with 1000 food parcels under the supervision of the U.N., the Red Crescent and in coordination with the Syrian government, near Damascus, Syria, Monday, July 14, 2014. A year's blockade on Moadamiyeh resulted in widespread hunger-related illness and death among its residents. The move came hours before an expected Security Council vote on a U.N. resolution that would authorize cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid to Syrians in desperate need of food and medicine. (AP Photo)

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's state run media are saying that President Bashar Assad will be sworn in shortly, marking the beginning of his third seven-year term in office.

State TV says the ceremony will be held at noon on Wednesday. The president is also expected to give a speech highlighting his policy for the coming years.

Assad was re-elected last month in a landslide victory amid a civil war in a vote that was dismissed by the opposition and its Western allies as a sham. He won 88.7 percent of the ballots cast in the first multicandidate elections in decades.

The voting didn't take place in areas engulfed in fighting.

Syria's civil war, now in its fourth year, has killed more than 170,000 people and displaced one third of the country's population.