Syria's Assad names new prime minister after defection
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appointed Health Minister Wael al-Halki as prime minister on Thursday, after the defection earlier this week of Prime Minister Riyad Hijab.
Halki, born in 1964, is from the southern province of Deraa where the uprising against four decades of Assad family rule erupted. He replaces caretaker premier Omar Ghalawanji who was appointed hours after Hijab's defection.
Like Hijab, Halki is from Syria's Sunni Muslim majority. Sunnis have been the driving force of the 17-month-old uprising.
Assad's Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam, dominates political and military power circles.
(Editing by Janet Lawrence)
- South Korea's Park says conduct of ferry crew tantamount to murder |
- Putin playing the long game over Russian kin in Ukraine
- Japan PM makes offering to Yasukuni Shrine, angers China, South Korea |
- Ukraine peace deal falters as rebels show no sign of surrender |
- UAW union withdraws objection to lost election at VW Tennessee plant