The Kremlin-backed Russia Today channel preceded the Assad regime in publishing the names of the new Syrian cabinet shortly after Syria’s official news agency SANA on Wednesday announced Assad had appointed Electricity Minister Imad Khamis to form the government.
Regime loyalists were hit with disappointment from the regime news media after Russia Today announced ahead of SANA days ago that Khamis had been appointed to form Assad’s new cabinet.
It appears regime officials are preferring to make statements to Russian media over the regime’s official agencies as SANA’s news on Khamis’ appointment was identical to what the Russian channel noted earlier.
Russia Today’s website quoted unnamed sources as saying that “Khamis is already close to announcing the names of the new government team which includes 12 new ministers while keeping the current ministers in the sovereign ministries, which are: Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, Interior Minister Mohamed al-Shaer, Defense Minister Fahed Jassim, and Finance Minister Ismail Ismail.”
The sources told the website that the Assad government would appoint new ministers, include Fares al-Shahaabi as deputy prime minister for economic affairs — industry minster, Heyyan Suleiman as economy minister, Bashr al-Subaan as minister for local administration, Mohamed Jihad al-Laham as justice minister, Hellal Hellal as communications minister, Nasouh Samneeyeh as electricity minister, Ambassador Ali Abdel Kareem as information minister, Rama Azeez as agricultural minister, Emad al-Aseel as minister of internal trade and consumer protection, Fadiyeh Deeb as health minister, and Farah al-Mutlaq as education minister.
Reactions over the appointment of Khamis to form the government, and SANA’s initial denial of his appointment, quickly began to appear among regime loyalists on social media sites. Many criticized the decision to appoint Khamis to form the government, as well as the “lack of transparency” of the regime media, while others believed the new cabinet was made in Moscow.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.