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Thursday, 05 December 2019

Syrian president replaces 2 Cabinet ministers

AP , Thursday 20 Aug 2015
Bashar al-Assad
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad heads a cabinet meeting in Damascus (Photo: REUTERS/SANA/HANDOUT)
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President Bashar Assad conducted a minor government reshuffle on Thursday, replacing two Cabinet ministers at a time when prices are on the rise in Syria, state TV reported.

The report said Assad named Rima Qadiri to replace Kinda Shammat as minister of social affairs. Jamal Chahine is minister of internal trade and consumer protection, replacing Hassane Safieh.

State TV did not give a reason for the moves but it came a time when consumer prices have been on the rise amid the country's grinding civil war that has killed more than 250,000 people.

Syria's crisis that began in March 2011 has led to one of the worst refugee crisis in decades, with more than 11 million of the prewar population of 23 million driven from their homes. Of those, some 4 million have fled to neighboring nations.

Also Thursday, an international human rights group called on the U.N. Security Council to impose an arms embargo on the Syrian government following airstrikes on a rebel-held suburb that killed more than 100 people.

Many of those killed in the Aug. 16 attacks that targeted Douma's popular markets and residential areas were civilians. The New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a press release that the U.N. should also refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at HRW, said bombing a market full of shoppers and vendors shows the Syrian government's "appalling disregard for civilians."

He said the Security Council should bring the same commitment to ending indiscriminate strikes on civilians as it has to chemical attacks.

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