DAMASCUS, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday appointed Najah Attar as new vice president, according to the state-news agency SANA.
Najah Attar has served as the vice president for cultural affairs since 2006 and the new presidential decree has appointed her as the sole vice president.
Well-informed sources told Xinhua that Assad has appointed Attar in accordance with the new constitution to be his vice president during his third 7-year term in office which has officially started on July 17.
The state-news agency spelled no details about the former vice president Farouq al-Sharaa, who has served in the Syrian government since the days of Hafez al-Assad, the father of incumbent President Bashar al-Assad.
Sharaa was foreign minister from 1984 until 2006 when he became vice president of Syria.
Assad's inauguration speech stirs mixed reactions from oppositions
DAMASCUS, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Mixed reactions from the domestically-based political opposition groups have been running around after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reaffirmed in his inauguration speech that his administration would stick to its policies in fighting terrorism, and promoting "national reconciliations."
Assad's Wednesday speech marked the start of his third seven- year term as president of the war-torn country, focused on the so- called national reconciliation that have taken place between the government troops and the opposition in several hotspots across Syria, where the rebels agreed to a ceasefire and put down their weapons in exchange for amnesty. Full story
"Islamic State" captures gas field in central Syria
DAMASCUS, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The so-called Islamic State (IS), an al-Qaida breakaway group, has seized a natural gas field in central Syria after a wide-scale attack on Thursday morning, activists said.
The IS attacked the al-Shaer natural gas plant in the central province of Homs, killing 23 guards of the facility, the Britain- based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that 340 members of the Syrian government forces and workers are still trapped in the field, while another 30 workers managed to escape. Full story