October 22, 2014 / 5:08 PM / 5 years ago

Syria's Assad replaces provincial governors in conflict zones

BEIRUT (Reuters) - President Bashar al-Assad has replaced five provincial governors, including some overseeing regions that include major fronts in Syria’s civil war, state media said on Wednesday.

The state news agency said Assad had shuffled governors of Aleppo and Idlib provinces in the north - both partly controlled by rebels and the site of frequent fighting - and in Quneitra in the south and the coastal provinces of Tartous and Latakia.

Tartous and Latakia form the coastal heartland of Assad’s minority Alawite sect and have been bastions of government support since the conflict began three and a half years ago.

The report did not say why the governors had been replaced. The governor of the central province of Homs was not mentioned, despite protests reported against him after a bomb killed at least 41 schoolchildren in the provincial capital this month.

Two high-ranking security officials were fired after protests by government loyalists following the bombing.

editing by Mark Heinrich

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