DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – Syrian President Bashar Assad appointed a new government on Tuesday, leaving most key posts unchanged in the country, state media reported. The development comes nearly three months after Assad’s re-election for a new seven-year term.
According to the state SANA news agency, the new appointments include the ministers of information, internal trade and consumer protection. The ministries of defense, interior and foreign affairs remain unchanged, with the incumbents keeping the posts.
The new cabinet takes office as Syria struggles with a severe economic crisis due to U.S. sanction. The 29-member government, which includes three women, is the sixth to be formed since the outbreak of the foreign-backed war in Syria in 2011.
The fighting, which has killed half a million people, has subsided at this point, leaving President Assad’s forces in control of large parts of Syria, mainly thanks to his main backers, Russia and Iran.
At the start of the month, Assad reappointed Prime Minister Hussein Arnous to the post.
Syria’s presidential election was held in May. He was sworn in in July.