The Denver Post - - NEWS - The As­so­ci­ated Press The As­so­ci­ated Press

A new 2,000 Syr­ian lira ($3.90 U.S.) bank note with the face of Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad on it went into cir­cu­la­tion Sun­day, the Syr­ian Cen­tral Bank an­nounced.

It’s the first time As­sad has been pic­tured on Syr­ian cur­rency since he took of­fice 17 years ago.

As­sad’s face ap­pears on the new bank notes at a time when his govern­ment is boast­ing mil­i­tary suc­cess against the armed re­bel­lion across the coun­try. The cur­rency pre­vi­ously car­ried images of his­toric icons or pic­tures of his fa­ther, Hafez As­sad.

Cen­tral Bank Gov. Du­raid Durgham said the new bank notes were in­tro­duced be­cause of “the wear and tear” af­fect­ing cur­rency that had been in cir­cu­la­tion.

Syr­ian cur­rency has crashed as the coun­try’s seven-year war rages on. Trad­ing at 47 li­ras to the U.S. dol­lar in 2011, it’s now go­ing for 517 li­ras to the dol­lar. Also, in­fla­tion in Syria has soared. ●●●

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