On Wednesday, the Syrian President issued a decree announcing the dismissal of five ministers from their positions and the appointment of new ones in a cabinet reshuffle. This marks the first reshuffle since the current government was formed by Hussein Arnous in August 2021.
As per Decree No. 91 of 2023, Firas Hussein Kaddour will replace Bassam Tohme as the Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources, while Mohsen Abdel Karim Ali will take over as the Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection, replacing Amr Salem.
Abdelkader Jokhadar was appointed Minister of Industry in place of Ziad Sabbagh, Louay Imad al-Din al-Munajjid was appointed Minister of Social Affairs and Labor in place of Mohamed Seif al-Din, and Ahmed Boustaji was appointed Minister of State.
According to what the “Presidency of the Republic” published on its official pages, the decree ended the designation of engineer Mohammed Fayez al-Barsha as minister of state.
Who are the new ministers?
The regime’s official media has released the biographies of the newly appointed ministers, beginning with Firas Kaddour, the new oil minister. Born in rural Damascus in 1962, Kaddour holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering. Before his appointment as minister, Kaddour served as the General Manager of the Syrian Oil Company. In 2015, he was also the Chairman and General Manager of the Euphrates Oil Company.
Minister of Internal Trade Mohsen Abdul Karim Ali, born in Kfardabil in Lattakia in 1968, has been the Director General of the General Organization for Internal Trade for Minerals and Building Materials (Omran) since 2014.
He previously worked as an advisor to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers from 2012 to 2014.
Information indicates that Mohsen Abdel Karim Ali is the brother of Ali Abdel Karim Ali, the regime’s ambassador to Lebanon, who also hails from the village of Kfardabil in Lattakia.
The new Minister of Industry, Abdelkader Jokhadar, holds a Ph.D. in Intelligent Control Systems from the University of Aberdeen, the Royal College of Electronic Engineering, UK. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Aleppo from 2019 to 2020.
Minister of Social Affairs Louay al-Munajjid held several positions in the regime’s government, including advisor to the presidency of the Council of Ministers and studies of the Economic Committee, a member of the advisory council at the Ministry of Transport and founder of the Department of Partnership between the Public and Private Sectors.
These amendments come more than a year and a half after Assad announced the new cabinet in August 2021, headed by Hussein Arnous.
It is worth noting that most of the ministers have retained their positions from the previous lineup, except for three ministries. Boutros Hallaq has replaced Imad Sarah in the Ministry of Information, Salwa Abdullah has been replaced in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, and Amr Salem has taken over from Talal al-Barazi in the Ministry of Interior and Consumer Protection.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.