DAMASCUS, May 28 (Xinhua)-- After scoring a sweeping victory in the presidential election, incumbent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Friday that the vote was "a slap in the faces of enemies."

Assad made the remarks in a televised speech after his election victory, where he said the vote constituted an "unprecedented challenge to enemies of the homeland," apparently referring to the Western-backed exiled opposition, the armed rebels, and the United States and its allies which have denounced the election as "illegitimate."

Hailing the Syrian people who voted in the election, Assad said they have re-defined the meaning of revolution, adding his re-election is "a great honor" to him.

A day earlier, Assad won his fourth seven-year term in the 2021 presidential race with 95.1 percent of the vote as opposed to 88.7 percent in the 2014 election.

The number of eligible voters inside and outside Syria was estimated at more than 18 million, 14 million of whom cast their votes in the election with a turnout rate of 78.64 percent.

A joint statement issued on Tuesday by the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Italy slammed the election as "illegitimate."

"Syria's presidential election will be neither free nor fair," the statement said.

On July 17, 2000, Assad succeeded his father Hafez al-Assad as the Syrian president. Under the current Syrian constitution adopted in 2012, the president of Syria has the right to run for office twice, which means this would be Assad's last term in office.