Entries in President Bashar Assad (5)


Syria’s Cabinet Reshuffled

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- Syria's beleaguered President Bashar Assad has shaken up his cabinet and appointed new ministers to handle the economy, according to Syria’s state media.

The cabinet reshuffle comes as Syrians suffer shortages of essentials including fuel, electricity and food. As a result of these complaints, the state TV said there would be changes at the oil, finance and agriculture ministries.  

It's hard to see, given the continued fighting, how a change in ministers may make any real difference to the situation.

Significantly key security ministries remain unchanged.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Jordanian Embassy in Damascus Attacked After King's Comments

LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images(DAMASCUS) -- One day after Jordanian King Abdullah II told the BBC Syrian President Assad should step down, the Jordanian embassy in Damascus was attacked.

About 100 demonstrators gathered outside the embassy, with three protesters scaling the embassy fence to take down the Jordanian flag.

Multiple embassies in Damascus were attacked after the Arab League voted Saturday to suspend Syria’s membership.

On Monday the Jordanian monarch made these remarks in an interview with the BBC:

“I believe, if I were in his shoes, I would step down,” King Abdullah told the BBC. “If Bashar has the interest of his country, he would step down, but he would also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Violent Protests Continue in Syria under Western Pressure to Reform

Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images(BEIRUT, Lebanon) -- At least 12 people were killed in Syria mid-afternoon Friday in massive anti-government protests in defiance of increased Western pressure for the regime to radically reform.

The protests followed the week's provocative visits by U.S. Ambassador Robert S. Ford and French envoy Eric Chavallier to the city of Hama enraged Syrian authorities and provoked testy exchanges between Western and Syrian officials.

The protests appear to have gained momentum, with unprecedented numbers in Hama, in central Syria, and Deir al-Zour, in the northeast, according to reports.

The demonstrations have yet to make decisive inroads into Damascus and Aleppo--the country’s two largest cities and the focus of the government’s attention.

The four-month long protests have resulted in the death of 1,431 people, despite activists’ contention that their protests remain peaceful.

The number of causalities is expected to rise, despite a purported dialogue between President Bashar Assad deputies and some regime critics that finished days ago, according to human rights activists.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Syria's Cabinet Resigns

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- Amid the country's worst unrest in decades, the Syrian cabinet has resigned.    

The announcement came on state television and President Bashar Assad is said to have accepted the resignation. It's the latest concession by the government aimed at appeasing more than a week of growing mass protests. Assad is expected address the nation in the next 24 hours to announce he's lifting the emergency law and moving to annul other harsh restrictions on civil liberties and political freedoms.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Syrians Take to Streets in Show of Support for Government

AFP/Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad is facing a wave of anti-government protests in the south and in the port city of Latakiya. 

Human Rights Watch says at least 60 protestors have died at the hands of Assad's army and security forces. As Assad reportedly considers political moves to appease the protestors, it's clear that many Syrians still back the leader as tens of thousands of Syrians are rallying behind Al-Assad in the streets of Damascus, holding up posters with his picture and waving Syrian flags.

Rallies of this size are also happening in  parts of the north and center of the country.  They show that Syria is quite divided. Unlike the national uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, many Syrians do not sympathize with the anti-government protests that continue in the south and in Lahtakiya. Many still believe in President Assad whose family has run the country for over 40 years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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