2018-11-27 14:30:00

In 2017, the US Department of Treasury imposed sanctions on Rahmoun, in addition to 17 other figures and six entities for their role in committing brutal crimes against the Syrian people.

Rahmoun previously headed the powerful Political Security Directorate, one of the main intelligence agencies in the country.

The opposition accuses him of brutally cracking down on peaceful protesters in 2011 when he was head of one of the air force intelligence directorate branches.

He was also part of the regime delegation at the Astana summit held in the Kazakh capital last year.

Syrians were left disappointed with news of the reshuffle as they were waiting for government measures that would have improved their living conditions amid the deterioration of the local currency, the pound.

They were surprised that the energy minister kept his position at a time when the country has been witnessing frequent power cuts and rationing.

The Syrian state agency, SANA, said Assad issued decree no. 360 on a cabinet reshuffle.

The decree appoints Hussein Arnous as Minister of Water Resources, Atef Naddaf as Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Khaled al-Rahmoun as Minister of Interior, Mohammad Rami Radwan Martini as Minister of Tourism, Imad Muwaffaq al-Azab as Minister of Education, Bassam Bashir Ibrahim as Minister of Higher Education, Suhail Mohammad Abdullatif as Minister of Public Works and Housing, Iyad Mohammad al-Khatib as Minister of Communications and Technology and Mohammad Maen Zein-al-Abidin Jazba as Minister of Industry.

In addition, Assad issued decree no. 363, dismissing Bishr al-Sabban as Governor of Damascus, replacing him with Adel al-Olabi. His dismissal came as a surprise to Syrians given that he is close to Assad. They have frequently complained against Sabban over his corruption and violent repression of the people.

His successor, however, is also mired in corruption allegations.

Assad also issued a decree on establishing the National Reconciliation Agency. He removed Ali Haidar from his post as State Minister for National Reconciliation Affairs and appointed him as head of the newly formed Agency.