Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has appointed a number of new senior officials within his government, including the selection of Major General Ali Abdullah Ayoub as the new defence minister.
Ayoub was until now chief of the general staff of the Syrian Arab Army, and will replace Fahd Jassem al-Freij who is the incumbent defence minister.
The new defence minister, alongside respective new ministers for information and industry, were sworn in before Assad on 2 January, according to the state-owned Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
Assad then continued to provide them with directives for their new roles, SANA added, which followed the issue of a number one decree on 1 January that facilitated the new ministerial appointments.
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