Syria's Assad makes first visit to Aleppo since recapture

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad addresses the new members of parliament in Damascus

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad marked the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha on Saturday in Aleppo, his first visit to the northern city since his forces recaptured it in 2016 with help from Russia and other allied forces.

A statement by Syrian state news agency SANA said Assad performed Eid al-Adha prayers at the Ibn Abbas mosque alongside other top government officials.

In his remarks, Assad said he visited historic marketplaces and inaugurated a thermal power plant that is expected to generate 200 megawatts of electricity, according to SANA.

The city produced 1,000 megawatts of power before the fighting erupted there in 2012, one year into the uprising against Assad.

His forces recaptured the city in late 2016 with help from Russian warplanes and Iran-backed armed groups. Tehran then signed a deal to rehabilitate five power plants in Aleppo.

Much of the city's infrastructure had been left in ruins by the fighting, which also ravaged the Old City - a UNESCO World Heritage site.

(Reporting by Maya Gebeily; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)