President appoints new PM
President Bashar Al-Assad has appointed Dr Riyad Farid Hijab with the task of forming a new government following the recent general election and the first meeting of the People’s Assembly on 4th May. The formal notice as published in the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) is as follows:
‘President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday issued the decree No. 194 for 2012 on tasking Dr. Riyad Farid Hijab with the formation of the new government.
Dr. Hijab, Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform since April 14, 2012, was born in Deir Azzour in 1966.
Hijab, holder of a PhD in Agricultural Engineering, served as secretary of Deir Azzour Branch of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party for the period of 2004-2008, and as a Governor of Quneitra Governorate from 2008 till Feb. 2011 and later on as Lattakia Governor. He is married with 4 children.’
In other news, opposition forces claim that Syrian armed forces have committed another massacre in Hama with at least 100 people, many of them women and children. President Al-Assad has publicly claimed that earlier massacres were the doing of terrorists and not armed forces personnel.
The claims and counter claims come as the Kofi Annan initiative crumbles despite more than 300 UN monitors on the ground and the conflict looks increasingly like all out civil war.