Changes in the Ministries of Syria: New Cabinet named by the President

Date:

Syrian President Bashar Assad has appointed a new government on Tuesday(August 10, 2021).  However, the key posts are kept unchanged in the war-torn country.

The development has come after almost three months of Assad’s re-election for another seven years.

According to the SANA news, the new appointments include ministers of internal trade, information and consumer protection.

However, the ministries of defence, interior and foreign affairs are not changed. It must also be noted that Assad has also reappointed Prime Minister Hussein Arnous to the post at the beginning of this month.

The Government of Syria

Since the war in Syria in 2011, Assad’s government is the sixth formed government. The 29-member government also includes six women.

The Presidential elections in May had extended Assad’s two-decade presidency. The election had no independent monitors.

The President was sworn in for the fourth time in July this year, with more than 60 guests, including ministers, academics and journalists. It was the second presidential election since the start of the decade-long civil war in Syria.

Assad was competing against two candidates and had won 95.1% of the votes. After the death of his father, Assad took over in 2000.

Recent Conditions in Syria

A meltdown in Lebanon has made Syria go through a severe economic crisis. An estimate by the UN has shown that currently, more than 80% of Syrians are living below the poverty line.

Syrian currency is losing its value. Resources are either scarce or offered at exorbitantly high prices.

Syrian money stuck in Lebanese banks, estimated between $40-60 billion, is a more significant challenge as it deprives Syria of funds.

The Syrian pound is now trading at around 3,000 to the dollar. Earlier it was trading at 47 at the start of the war.

War History and Effects

The conflict had begun in 2011 after a regime cracked down on peaceful protests, which turned the opposition into an armed rebellion against the Assad family.

The civil war killed half a million people and had shattered the infrastructure of the country.

The country had slipped into a worsened economic crisis since then. The high-intensity fighting in Idlib in 2020 has created yet another humanitarian crisis.

If the conflict in Idlib is not brought under control, the humanitarian crisis in Syria will persist, and it will be difficult for Syria to begin rebuilding.

But at present, owing to the support of Russia and Iran, Assad’s forces are now in control of large parts of Syria amid fighting that has mainly been subsided. But parts of Syria are still out of regime control.

Troops and militias sent by Iran and Russia are deployed in various parts of the country. Syria’s civil war has resurged the use of universal jurisdiction.

The movement of about 5.6 million people from Syria has also significantly strained its neighbouring countries. The battle may seem in its final stages but can still back up and escalate.

The task of rebuilding Syria is a massive problem for Assad at present, and a lack of enough funds is adding to the problem.

The role of Iran and the militias it supports in Syria is still questionable.

The conflict has displaced the country. Even as the conflict winds down, it is unclear when or if Syria will rebuild itself.

Assad has to look up at the US and Europe for funds for rebuilding the nation, but are they willing to hand over the funds without any regime change.

Assad is not ready to consider any institutional reforms as of now. Could that spell a cycle of domestic crises ahead for Syria and its citizens? The future is to decide.

Ankita Gautam
Ankita Gautam
Ankita Gautam aka AnkiTam, is an Educator, who learns by reading and expresses by writing. She has been an avid reader, writer, speaker, learner, and observer ever since. A science background could never stop her from grasping the nitty-gritties of fashion, technology, and trending news. She finds her solace in magazines and newspapers. Being an ambivert, she is blessed to be flexible in knowing when to talk and when to listen. She is an opinionated personality with an optimal level of compassion and empathy. She can be easily found entertaining people with her wordplays and also with her wry sense of humor. She is a pantomath, who wants to know everything.

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