Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has appointed Major General Tayseer Ibrahim Salem as commander of the artillery and missile forces, succeeding Major General Akram Tajour who retired at the beginning of March, a military source told Zaman al-Wasl.
Salem was assigned temporarily to lead the forces in early March but Assad officially named him this position on Wednesday.
In a relevant development, Russia has denied Assad’s request to appoint a new chief of the army staff under the pretext that the de-facto role of the Russian forces in Syria is substituting that position, sources told Zaman al-Wasl.
Assad’s demand was delivered to the Russian headquarters based in Hmeimim in coastal Lattakia province in January.
Assad, as the General Commander of the Syrian regime army, wanted to appoint the deputy chief of staff Maj. Gen Salih Hilal al-Ali as the Chief of the General Staff, such a position has been vacant for 3 years.
The military source told Zaman al-Wasl that the Russian pretext for rejecting Assad’s request to appoint Ali is that the Joint Operations Room is currently carrying out this mission (the chief of staff’s job).
Ali’s appointment might contradict the task room decisions in regard to the military operations on the ground, according to the source.
The Joint Operations Room, which was formed at the end of 2015, following the entry of the Russian forces, is tasked by the Syrian chief of staff to issue all orders related to military formations, including proposals for appointments of commanders and officers, the source said.
This article was 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.