June 2 - As Syria preps to hold a presidential election, rebels and residents in the Idlib province call elections pointless. Nathan Frandino reports.
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In Syria's northern Idlib province, where various rebel groups remain in control, fighters on patrol are moving ahead in their battle, despite Tuesday's presidential election.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ABDELKAFI DIAB, FIELD COMMANDER WITH THE FREE SYRIAN ARMY, SAYING:
"The elections are a means of avoiding reality and distracting the world from Bashar al-Assad's massacres. This is the situation. The elections are pointless, as we are sure that he will lose the war."
President Bashar al-Assad will be elected president this week for a third seven-year term.
He's ruled since 2000, when he took over from his father.
Back in the Idlib province, residents remain pessimistic.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AHMAD ABU AYYASH, SYRIAN, SAYING:
"These elections are not legitimate. This is a farce, a masquerade held for the international community. They are making a mockery out of the people and lying to the whole world."
World powers have failed to resolve the conflict, which has killed an estimated 160,000 people and displaced millions.