Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (Source: Reuters/VNA)
The Syrian President replaced his defence minister for the first time since 2012 as part of a government reshuffle. He has appointed General Ali Abdullah Ayoub as defence minister, Mohammed Mazen Ali Yousef as industry minister and Imad Abullah Sarah as information minister.

The three new ministers were sworn in before Assad on January 2nd, according to the state-owned Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

"President Assad issued a decree, the first of 2018, naming General Ali Abdullah Ayoub minister of defence," the SANA agency said, without providing any explanation for the surprise announcement.

The 65-year-old was until now the chief of general staff of the armed forces and replaces Fahd Jassem al-Freij.

Mr. Ayoub was also previously Chief of Staff in the army./.

Compiled by BTA