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Assad Reshuffles Cabinet, Appoints New Defense Minister

Assad Reshuffles Cabinet, Appoints New Defense MinisterAssad Reshuffles Cabinet, Appoints New Defense Minister

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has appointed new ministers for defense, information and industry in a cabinet reshuffle.

State news agency SANA reported on Tuesday that Assad has appointed General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub as defense minister, Mohammed Mazen Ali Yousef as industry minister and Imad Abullah Sarah as information minister, RT reported.

This is the latest cabinet reshuffle in Syria, where the lingering war on terrorism entered its seventh year.

Little has been disclosed about the appointees, but it is known that General Ayyoub is a career soldier who completed a senior officer course at the Moscow-based Frunze Military Academy back in 1986, according to SANA. Until his appointment as Defense Minister, he served as chief of the Syrian military’s general staff.

Ayoub, who commanded several units during the war on terrorists, replaced Fahad Jassim al-Freij, who occupied the post since 2012.

The new information minister, Sarah, served as the head of Syrian radio and television. A professional journalist, he previously worked as a news director in Al-Duna TV broadcaster for several years. Yousef, the newly-appointed minister of industry, occupied several positions in Syria’s finance and trade system, according to SANA.

The latest cabinet reshuffle comes at a time when Syrian government forces are fighting to defeat remaining rebels after they crushed the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group last year.

A report by the Al Arabiya news site suggests that outgoing information minister Mohammad Ramez Turjeman was sacked for authorizing a British-Israeli journalist entry into the country in April.

Al Arabiya claimed that Turjeman was dismissed over his failure to identify journalist Jonathan Spyer as a dual British-Israeli national before approving his entry into the country.

According to the report, Spyer entered Syria on his British passport and joined tours organized by Turjeman’s office, during which he spoke with military officers and other senior officials.

 

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