World Bulletin/News Desk
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree to form a new government on Saturday, shaking up many cabinet posts but keeping the heads of the interior, defence and foreign ministries, state television reported.
The reappointment of Defence Minister Daoud Rajha will quash widespread rumours, previously denied by the government, that he had been assassinated by rebels who are struggling to bring down President Bashar al-Assad's rule.
The 16-month uprising, which has faced a brutal government crackdown, is increasingly being termed a civil war by foreign observers. Assad argues he is pursuing reforms even as he fights a revolt he says is led by foreign-backed militants.
But critics say Assad's appointment of Riyad Hijab as prime minister earlier in June was a sign the president was turning to hardline loyalists. Hijab formed the new government given Assad's approval, Syria TV said on Saturday.
Hijab, a former agriculture minister, is a committed member of Assad's Baath Party, which has ruled Syria for nearly four decades since his father Hafez al-Assad took power in 1970.
Most of the top government posts were given to Baathist loyalists. Critics consider the cabinet to be largely symbolic and say power in Syria remains in the hands of Assad and his close inner circle of family and security force elites.
The new cabinet follows a May 7 parliamentary election which Assad said was part of the path to reform but the opposition boycotted as a sham, insisting the president must step down.
Other than Rajha, the ministers to retain their post were Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaar and Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem.
Several new ministries were created in the new cabinet.
The moderate Qadri Jamil, a centrist who has said he is speaking both to the government and to rebels, was appointed minister of internal commerce and consumer protection. The post is newly formed and likely to be mostly ceremonial.
An Algerian diplomat who has remained anonymous has said that Saudi and Iranian officials were communicating via Algiers with a view to averting further military escalation in Yemen.
Two chlorine bomb were dropped onto Korin village with 17 people taken to hospital.
Local officials fear that the abandonment of the eastern province of Hadramawt will be an opportunity for Al-Qaeda to expand.
The former president of Yemen has knocked backed claims saying he has no plans on leaving Yemen.
A new visa requirement put in by Lebanon sees many Syrians living in fear with many already in abject poverty unable to move.
Brent crude price jumps above $64 per barrel Thursday after Al-Qaeda militants capture major oil terminal in southern Yemen.
Challenges are now reduced investment, high unemployment, and first fiscal deficit in four years, a World Bank report says.
The committee that has been formed to manage the funds of the Muslim Brotherhood confiscated on Thursday a hospital in Alexandria and a school in Cairo, accusing their owners of belonging to the Brotherhood.
India is Iran's biggest oil client after China although its imports from Tehran have declined under pressure from western sanctions.
According to residents, heavy fighting broke out in and around the central Yemeni city of Taiz
A coalition of rebel groups seized Idlib city at the end of last month in a campaign that appeared to catch the regime off guard.
Activists say Israel's inhumane policies contradict its own laws and international conventions.
Whilst the dates of delivery are still under discussion, Putin has said that Iran's flexibility in finding a solution to their nuclear programme spurred the new contract
An ISIL-linked armed group has claimed responsibility for an attack on a security patrol in the Sinai Peninsula that left at least one soldier dead.
It remains unclear whether the strikes, on which the Houthis have yet to comment, had left casualties.
Bahah was the only top political leader who was released by the Houthis rather than escaping their control, suggesting the Houthis were not threatened by his discharge.