(ANSAmed) – BEIRUT, APRIL 30 – Syrian President Bashar al Assad has appointed a new Defense Minister, General Ali Mahmud Abbas, who takes the place of General Ali Ayyub, who has been in office since 2018, according to the government agency Sana , which cites the presidential decree signed by the rais of Damascus.
Unlike General Ayyub, now retired, the new minister is not on the list of Syrian government figures affected by US sanctions. General Abbas is from a Sunni family from the Wadi Barada region near Damascus.
Historically, the Syrian power embodied by the Assad family for half a century has almost always chosen a Sunni exponent for the post of defense minister, but originally from rural and peripheral regions, traditionally allied with the central government.
From 2018 to today this tradition has been interrupted with the presence at the top of the dicastery of General Ayyub, exponent of an Alawite clan, a community of Shiite heterodoxy to which the Assad themselves belong.
The Syrian Ministry of Defense is formally responsible for the regular armed forces, but various armed formations, auxiliary corps and militias have now been operating in Syria that has been at war for more than 10 years, responding to orders from local and even foreign actors, such as Russia and Iran. (ANSAmed).